2019 Credo Projects Focus on Self-Reflection and Nature

Junior English project continues its legacy at SHS

The annual AP Language and Composition Credo Project for the junior class is nearly completed. This year, many students have really tried to connect with nature, as the project is centered around the tenets of Transcendentalism, including living simply and appreciating nature.

Since the project allows for a variety of ideas, with not all of them being physically based in nature, it encourages students to step outside their comfort zone and bring something new into their everyday lives, with the influence of nature and the environment around them. In past years, students have put themselves in nature by spending time to reflect on building self-awareness and different skills they might not have realized they had before. This may just be an English project, but the teachers want students to dig deeper and derive something meaningful out of the experience. 

According to junior English teacher Anne Blake, “Most students, at the very least, get to do some self-reflection about what’s important to them and some perspective about what’s important in life.”  She explained the main goal is to consider the Transcendentalist ideas and reflect on the significance of the world around you. 

This year, some credo projects are more geared toward spending time outdoors and reflecting or learning a skill or craft, while others are more focused on doing a new task every day to test one’s abilities. Junior Maddie Brown’s project is to meditate and reflect on herself every night before bed. In particular, she is hoping the meditative practice will improve her overall health. Brown said, “It calms me down because I get a better night’s sleep and I wake up less anxious in the morning. I genuinely look forward to doing it at night.” Brown makes time for meditation every night and does it early enough so she isn’t stressed about completing her routine and rushing through it.  She said she struggles with the project when she would rather just go right to bed, but she knows the end result will be rewarding. 

Junior Mia Petrocelli’s credo project entails doing a new task before school every morning. Petrocelli has spent her mornings working out, walking her dog, and watching the sunrise. Carving out time in her regular morning routine to do each task, Petrocelli explained,“It has helped me to learn that change is good for me because doing the same thing every day gets really repetitive, so it’s nice to do something different.” Petrocelli has recorded her experiences every day in a journal, as every student is required to document their experience. 

Guidelines for the credo project are not too restricting or demanding, which allows students to be creative and have fun with their selected tasks or routines. Journaling after each week or throughout the week is required, which has been the down-side to many students’ experiences. However, it is important to track one’s progress. Many juniors consider the project to be very enjoyable, as they continue to learn more about themselves and their relationship with nature.