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Senior Semester: Graduating Early, Starting an Internship, and Growing Up

In a little over three months, I will have completed all of the requirements to earn an undergraduate degree in social work from Marywood University.

It’s currently 2 PM the day before the semester starts. I’m laying in bed, enjoying the unseasonably cool weather, wrapped in a comforter, and watching Netflix. I have plans to take my little out for coffee and go see The Secret Life of Bees in theaters. This feels a little bit like the end of times for me. I am very aware that I won’t have summers like the summer of 2016 – full of traveling, lounging, hanging – either for a very long time, or never again. I’m only 20 years old. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’ll land a job somewhere that will allow me to have leisurely summers off, but really, who am I kidding?

This feels decidedly like the end of my childhood, the end of my young adulthood. Graduating early saves my family a lot of money, for a bunch of complicated reasons that I won’t get into in this post, and that’s important. It’s much more important than staying another semester. I have a lot of decisions to make in the next couple of weeks and months. Grad school or not? If so, where? If not, what next? Even thinking about it now makes my heart start to race.

I don’t know what I want. I’m 20. I’ve only (hopefully) lived 1/4 of my life. First of all, that’s a scary thought. But really, I don’t know if I have a goal or if my goal is just to survive. I don’t like that feeling. My goal, I think, has always been college – now that I’m so close to accomplishing that goal, I need to find a new one. First I guess I need a passion. Just typing that sentence is somewhat defeating because that’s not what passion is. You shouldn’t need to “find” a passion, it should be something that you already know and love and understand to be a passion in your life…

I guess I can start with short term goals. I need to wake up at 7 AM tomorrow, that’s the first goal. I need to set up appointments to take photos of my friends to get started on my final photo series for my online Photography class.


Facebooking with students

Laurie Mac Reads

Back in November 2014, the “Shit Academics Say” FB page posted

To be or not to be that academic who accepts student friend requests on Facebook.

lot of academics wrote “not to be,” often in much stronger language. A lot wrote yes with contingencies: former students, alums, select students are okay; current students, not so much. I fall in the camp of accepting friend requests from students, but not initiating them.


I began spending time on Facebook in the early days, spring of 2006, and I did so with student encouragement. It all began during a class break in a Business & Technical Writing course, which met in a computer lab. The students told me about their own experiences with Facebook, and they introduced me to the Facebook wall and private messaging and “poking” (which was not considered a dirty or flirty thing in our class!). Over the next…

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