sticking with my high school boyfriend: the best decision I’ve ever made

Who’s glad his parents stayed together after high school? This guy!

High school sweethearts heading to college often receive one piece of advice from well-meaning people in their lives: Break up.

The distance will test the limits of your relationship, they say. College is a time to make a clean break and meet all […]

why Pennsylvanians love Penn State

There’s a lot more to Penn State than this.

As the horrifying child-sex abuse scandal surrounding Penn State’s football team continues to dominate national headlines, it’s hard for some to understand the devotion people across Pennsylvania feel toward this institution.

How can anyone hold high opinions toward a school whose top administrators, according to […]

poor college students in Missouri struggle to succeed

Young adults who aspire to be the first in their families to finish college should be commended for their ambition. But if they lack role models who can give advice and show how success is possible, they’re at risk of following an aimless path that doesn’t match their goals and abilities.

This misfortune is clearly […]

admissions counselors: not in the business of rejection

When I was in high school I pictured college admissions counselors as bouncers at an exclusive club. I thought their purpose was to comb through my application for any excuse to reject me. You couldn’t blame me for visualizing admissions officers as hardened gatekeepers, given the focus from my colleagues in the news media on […]

college isn’t for everyone

Columnist Robert J. Samuelson recently argued in The Washington Post that educators and policymakers should stop encouraging every student to go to college.

He’s right.

Bachelor’s degrees aren’t for everybody. All people should have the opportunity to attend a four-year college, assuming they have the right qualifications. But the pervasive idea that one has a […]

gift guide for first-generation college-bound students

This is not a shower basket.

Graduation season is upon us, which means a lot of high school students are looking forward to starting college in a few months. Many friends and relatives who are shopping for gifts for a high school graduate look for items that will be useful at college.

If you’re […]

if you’re successful, you had help

What with the ongoing economic downturn, rising economic equality in America and the continuing Occupy Wall Street protests, it should come as no surprise that lots of people in this country are angry at our country’s wealthiest – the “1 percent.”

I, too, could be angry at those who grew up in families that had […]

study what you love, but you’ll need a job

The implicit message I received as a high school student was to pick a college major I was interested in. It didn’t matter what a student majored in; a bachelor’s degree would open the door to a fulfilling, well-paying job.

That message made sense in the late 1990s, when the economy was humming.

Throughout college, […]

reflections after a year of freelancing

This is Jinx. He keeps me company at work.

Cosmo, my newest office mate.

A year ago my first freelance story showed up in print.

Amazing how things can change in 365 days.

A year ago I was recovering from a layoff and jumped into freelance writing without much of a plan. My […]

journalism standards don't die online

Longtime Reading Eagle reporter and columnist Dan Kelly is a great guy who helped me out a lot in my four years at that newspaper. I didn’t get to know him very well, but I have a lot of respect for his work and commitment to quality journalism.

That being said, I have a few […]