And guess what. It all paid off.
When I first started off as a history teaching major, I put so much effort into all of my papers. I wouldn't turn it in unless I was fully confident about it. But, as time went on, I noticed myself feeling less and less sure of my papers. My grades didn't really change, so maybe I was just getting used to writing papers and I felt like it should be harder. But still, it's not a good feeling to have when your entire undergraduate learning culminates in the beastly 25-page capstone research paper. I know that there are much bigger papers out there (namely doctoral dissertations), but this is still a lot of writing and the longest paper I have ever written!
So, when I turned in my beast of a paper ("The Function of Miracles: Catholic and Protestant Uses of Miracles in Early Modern England"), I knew it wasn't my best paper. But I didn't care. I was so sick of papers. I was just a little hesitant to see my final grade in the class.
And then I wanted to cry when I checked my grades. I got an A-.
I don't think I'm so excited about the actual grade but the fact that my paper couldn't have been half bad. History professors are pretty picky with the capstone papers, so this means I must have done a good job on it. That just makes me feel good about my writing abilities.
Ironically, now that I know this, I am planning on never writing another history essay again. And I am completely fine with that.