After completing three years of college, most seniors would admit that they’re dragging their heels, going through the motions of attending classes and balancing schoolwork while secretly counting down the hours until the Cornerstone’s specials begin.
This couldn’t be further from the truth for senior Liz Maier, who dashes into the bookstore, citing her hectic schedule as reason for her slight tardiness.
This year Maier is busier than ever, doing extra work for classes, playing softball and writing her own column in The Merciad, not to mention stressing over her future. Rather than become overwhelmed, Maier remains fully focused on each of her activities.
“This morning I woke up at 7 a.m. and went to Jefferson to sit in a classroom and observe for one of my education classes,” Maier said, pausing to answer a text from a disgruntled teammate, concerned about the whereabouts of her softball recruit.
Maier, who plays in the outfield, explains that though softball season has not yet begun, recruits for the following year are already visiting the school.
Players have the option of volunteering to take a recruit around campus, bringing them to softball practices to see the team in action. Maier gladly welcomed the opportunity to show high school students the ropes.
“(Liz) is the mother of the team. She takes care of the freshmen and everyone else. Liz is not only a great softball player, but a phenomenal person,” Coach Sara Headley said.
Aiming to outdo last year’s 20-23 record, Maier said the team has already been working hard, practicing five to six days a week and lifting in the gym.
“Hopefully, this year we will make playoffs. We have a good team and a lot of good freshmen this year,” Maier said.
Willing to work hard in all situations, Maier said she was almost cut from her high school softball team but learned to bunt the ball left-handed, becoming a valuable player as a slapper.
“Liz is one of the hardest working people that I know, both on and off the field. She sets a great example for the rest of the team and maintains a positive attitude,” senior teammate Kati Tompkins said.
Maier has proven her capabilities off the field by maintaining good grades while writing a weekly column for Mercyhurst College’s newspaper in which she visits professors’ favorite restaurants, writing reviews based on food quality, service and price.
Maier has already worked to further her writing skills by interning with the News in Education (NIE) department of the Erie Times-News last spring.
“The whole point of NIE was to get kids interested in the newspaper. I wrote articles and questions, and I edited student responses for print in the newspaper,” Maier said.
Maier said she is hungry for her dream job and hopes to earn a paid internship with Highlights Magazine upon graduating with a contract Communication/Education degree.
“I want the internship to figure out if this is what I want to do for sure,” she said.
Realizing that competition for jobs is fierce, Maier said she is considering graduate school and is already looking at Kent State and Ohio University’s communication programs.
Maier remains positive, adding that if she finds herself unhappy with her job or internship, she will work to acquire a master’s degree in education and earn her teaching certificate.
“Liz has worked hard to be where she is today, and now she is able to use her experiences to help others,” Headley said, referring to Maier’s softball skills. But after one conversation with Maier, it is apparent that this statement applies to all facets of her college career and beyond.