Final Reflections

As a historian, I have grown exponentially over this year, especially this semester. From learning theory to content, all of my classes have contributed to my growth as a scholar. Although I know I will not incorporate everything that I have learned over the past year for my thesis, I know I will never forget it. The biggest thing  I will take away from this year is that being a historian is not about just doing research and writing, it’s about putting yourself into historical conversations and attempting to make your subject/topic well-rounded. I know we have not always been one hundred percent interested in each other’s projects, but this year also taught me that even through the extremely different conditions of each person’s research, we all provided each other with essential questions and feedback. Though no one else is working on French history, my peers offered me new ways and methods of seeing and approaching my topic. To me, that’s been another one of my greatest lessons–that a historian’s work does not only have to be relevant to their subject, but their theories and methodologies can be useful for other writers and academics. Over this year, at times, I was a little frustrated and discouraged when classes seemed to be too removed or unrelated to my area of interest, but I quickly found out that studying history would not be as fun if we all only took classes directly related to our fields. I never would have found out that I actually enjoyed gender history, and would probably not be choosing to focus on it now. That’s the main reason I want to continue on to hopefully be a professor one day, so I can help students understand that history is not founded on the memorization of facts but on the exploration of earlier peoples and time periods. I am really looking forward to continuing on in this process and delving more into my research this summer. Who knows what I’ll find next!

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