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September 2014
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Oh the places 2014 will go!

When I logged onto Facebook this afternoon, I was delighted to see the faces of two of my senior friends, Amber and Lauren, accompanying an article posted to McDaniel College’s Facebook page. The photo was a fun reminder of the time I spent with them in Europe over Jan Term and the article was full of snippets of what so many McDaniel seniors are going to be doing after they graduate on Saturday.

http://www.mcdaniel.edu/gallery/cheers_images/2014/cheers2014_06.jpg

My friends Amber and Lauren, in front of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna during our Jan Term.

I already knew that Amber is going to grad school at DePaul University to study rhetoric and composition and that Lauren is moving to Oklahoma to work for the AmeriCorps affiliate Reading Partners–I wrote about their plans and the plans of the Free Press’s other two graduating editors in this McDaniel Free Press article.

These editors are by no means that only two graduating seniors with big plans. As I read through the McDaniel article, the list of seniors recognized and cool things they want to do with their lives kept growing and growing! Lots of students already have full-time jobs and grad school lined up. My friend Andrea, for example, will be pursuing a Master’s in Library Science at Pitt this fall, where she’ll specialize in Archives. A couple of my other fellow English majors are going to go work at Disney World.

Students graduating from McDaniel’s Honors Program have plans that include attending law school, working as a campaign staffer, working as teachers, and going to optometry school.

Some seniors also finished up their degrees in December and have already gone out into the “real world,” doing things like working and even hiking the Appalachian Trail before returning to McDaniel this weekend for commencement.

You’ve got to read this article about McDaniel’s class of 2014. You’ll learn so much about what students did during their time at McDaniel and how they’ll continue to lead amazing lives.

Adjusting to Home

It’s nice that the semester is over. Papers are in, projects are done, and there’s an entire summer open for activities. No more all-nighters, surviving on coffee, or staring absently at a book or screen hoping to understand.

Instead, there’s home, wherever that may be, and for most of us, that means parents and siblings and distance from college friends.

Adjusting to this can be difficult. I think it is. At college, I decide what I do and when I do it. I choose my commitments and priorities. Nobody questions it. I am fully an adult (mostly) and am treated as such.

But at home, waiting to give their input, are my parents. They care what I’m doing and when I’m doing it and believe they have better ideas of how I should be spending my time. They care if I watch Doctor Who for five hours straight or play Pokemon all day.

There’s also adjusting from seeing hundreds of different people a day to definitely seeing at least four (or however many people live in your house).

And the food! Sure, it’s homemade and that is wonderful, but there’s no buffet, and you might be expected to make it yourself (I often am, not that I mind).

It is an entirely different life, especially since I won’t be working before I leave for Scotland in June.

I try to remember that my parents are used to me being younger, their child, and are only trying to help. I try to make sure I have things to do during the day, but given that I’ve played Bejeweled Blitz all morning the last two days, I’d say I need to do better at that. I also try to keep some of my routine, such as exercising, so I’m not changing too much.

But mostly, I try to remember that I’ll be living here for another few weeks and will keep coming back to live here until I am able to move out, and that my parents are helping me through college…so I shouldn’t be too hard on them, and should maybe clean a bit once in a while.

Graduation…My Brother’s, That Is

Last Saturday, I had the honor of being able to see my twin brother graduate with his associates degree…just in time for him to start working full-time this passed Monday. It was a long day since we had to wake before the sun to get there in time, but it was worth it to see him in a cap and gown, getting his diploma.

The experience got me thinking about how fast we’ve grown up. I’m only twelve minutes older than him, so there isn’t much of an age difference to put his experience into perspective. We are the same age, and he’s engaged and graduated. I still remember going to his youth baseball games, senior night for football/cheerleading when our parents had to walk out twice, once with him and once with me. I still remember dropping him off at school and meeting some of his suitemates, who are now a few of his closest friends.

So he has a degree and a fiance and a full-time job.

And I have…plans to be in school for at least another two years, most likely plus however much grad school I decide to take.

Still, I keep thinking ahead, to when I’ll be getting my diploma, because I know I’ll be looking back on his graduation and pondering that it wasn’t so long ago.

But I have another two years for that, at least, and I’m proud of my brother for getting so far in life.

Freshman Year–Over?

Hi all,

I’m kind of in a state of disbelief. Most of my peers are celebrating the end of the year, but I’m not–I didn’t mind being a freshman! Technically I’m a sophomore now, which means that I’m one year closer to being done with college and facing the real world, and I’m still not entirely sure which direction I want to take.

Though I was taking 22 credits this semester, I still managed to do really well in my classes, and though I don’t usually say corny motivational things, I’m proud of myself for the work I’ve done this semester. I’ve been through quite a bit emotionally, but I haven’t let it affect my work ethic, and I’ve still managed to enjoy myself.

Saying goodbye was really hard. I learned in Yellowstone to say “It’s not goodbye; it’s just see you later” but it’s still rough. I tend to get very attached and I don’t like leaving worlds. However, I’ll have WiFi in Yellowstone and I plan to Skype my friends.

My favourite shot of San Francisco at night.

My favourite shot of San Francisco at night.

I’m going to be in San Francisco for 63 hours before getting on another plane to Yellowstone. Though I could barely keep the tears in my eyes from falling as I took off from Baltimore, the couple of months of relaxation and destressing will do me good, and I’m excited for what next year at McDaniel will bring me.

Ema

Finals and Packing

Hey guys,

This past two weeks have been insanely hectic between finals and packing. Last week was crazy because of the amount of written work and papers I had due, and because I had fallen behind when I was out of town the previous weekend. This week was crazy because of last minute cramming for finals and because of packing. I’ve eaten an entire jar of Nutella in the past week alone!

I came from California with two suitcases, and two boxes–one shipped from California and one shipped from Yellowstone, both containing huge duvets. I had ordered a bunch of things online and bought things throughout the year, but I was still astounded at how much stuff I managed to accumulate. Thankfully, I managed to get a space in the school’s storage room for the summer, so I didn’t have to worry about where I’d leave my things I wasn’t taking with me. I shipped a box containing a duvet to Yellowstone, and managed to make my suitcase weigh 54 pounds. For future reference, sweatshirts are heavy–I removed two and stuck them in my carry on to make the right weight!

Finals always stress me out because while I can be relied upon to write a relatively decent paper, I am a horrible test taker. My final for US Foreign Policy was a written essay which made me happy because I am one of the weird people who loves in class essays, but my finals for Spanish and Computer Organization were immensely stressful, mainly because I also had to pack and that turned out to take a lot more time than I expected. Still, it could have been worse–I had my friends stressing out with me through late nights in the library and in the basement of DMC, and Glar provided lots of hot chocolate and brownies.

Ema