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    Adapting to Life Outside Our Home With SMA

    I once heard a joke that a woman’s mind is like an Internet browser that has 1000 tabs open and running at once. I laughed at the time, but came to realize that if I didn’t actually feel like this before hearing the short acronym “SMA,” I most certainly do now.

    I spend much of my time pre-planning and thinking of possible problems that we may run into because of the kids’ diagnoses. I think many other SMA parents do this as well. Prior to our lives with SMA, we didn’t realize just how inaccessible the world is to those who are differently-abled.

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        Brianna Albers
        Keymaster

        Hey everyone! I only have a few weeks of school left, so I figured I’d write up a quick post about my semester and how things are going.

        For those of you who don’t know, I’m enrolled part-time in an online program for mental health counseling! I graduated with my B.A. in psychology last fall, so this January will mark my first full year of grad school. It’s crazy to think about. Last year at this time I was stressed about essays and finals and getting my diploma in the mail, and now I’m looking ahead to work placements!

        I’m really loving the online format of my program. I could probably pull off full-time, but I’ve found that two classes per semester is a good balance for me—I still make progress towards my degree, but I have some wiggle room if I get sick, as well as free time to work on my extracurricular writing when I want to. Undergrad was a very busy time for me, and it ended up resulting in some chronic medical issues that I’m still dealing with, so I’ve been enjoying the slower pace. It’s easy to get caught up in where I feel like I should be at this point in my life, but I’m trying to module my expectations so they’re more conducive to my health.

        Right now, I’m mostly trying to figure out how I’ll handle my upcoming work placements. To graduate with an M.A. in mental health counseling, you need to successfully complete a practicum and internship, during which you see clients on a daily basis and convene regularly with a supervisor to discuss your experiences. I was panicking earlier this semester about finding a place of employment that upholds the equal opportunity clause, but my adviser and professors assured me that we’ll figure something out. My work placements are still a ways out, so I have time, but I’m still trying to think ahead so I don’t get caught off guard.

        For right now, I’m trying to get ahead a little, as I’ll have friends visiting the first week of December and will be traveling the week after—I’d rather not have to stress about homework during the holidays! I’ll let you all know how finals go. Good luck to those enrolled in classes!

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