When I was younger, I was never one of those kids who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wanted to be a teacher, doctor, actress, astronaut and probably about fifty other careers. Even when I got to college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and ended up changing my major four times.
It was in the last semester of my senior year of college that I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had finally figured out what I wanted to do, and was in the process of filling out my applications for graduate school on the night I was admitted to the hospital.
I had two different year-long internships during grad school, and after those two years I moved to Florida to start my professional career. I remember my first boss sharing with the department in one of our first staff meetings to be careful about what would happen if we “googled” ourselves. That was a bit of a problem considering I had just started a blog named “Sara in (Insert City Name)” and had written a few posts about work. I changed those posts pretty quickly!
Later, when I started guest blogging on other sites, it was requested that I provide a last name to help people connect. Kerri helped me come up with the last name Knicks – a name close enough to my own – but different enough to defeat most of the web searches and confuse Chris Spartacus.
The only problem is that the more I get involved in my career and the more I got involved in diabetes advocacy, the more I want to combine the two areas. And considering my most recent job, it is a bit of an ironic place to be (stay tuned).
Two years after I was diagnosed with diabetes I received a Master of Education in College Student Affairs. This degree covers everything that happens on a college campus other than teaching the traditional coursework (although I did end up teaching a few different courses). Over the past ten years I have worked in new student orientation, academic advising, disability services, residence life, and (the ironic part) career counseling.
For those parents anticipating sending their son or daughter with diabetes to college, don’t worry. There are people like me at higher education institutions around the country. In fact, it was a resident director (a person in charge of a dorm) with type 1 diabetes who convinced me to go to the emergency room the night I was diagnosed. Just like people with diabetes can be actors, teachers, racecar drivers, and Supreme Court Justices, they can also be academic advisors, student activities directors, and even faculty members. There are people throughout the diabetes community who have “done” college with diabetes, and there are even people like me who have studied HOW to do college with diabetes.
Organizations like the College Diabetes Network are doing great things to make sure that students all across the country feel supported at their institutions. And in awesome late-breaking news, there has been an exciting addition to the Friends for Life program schedule. I would like to draw your attention to the Friday morning agenda and this little blurb from the faculty page (click to enlarge).