Kate,

 

The family Christmas card came in the mail yesterday! I think it came out great, though I heard you’re not a huge fan of the candid on the back. In the spirit of things, I thought I’d include a throwback Christmas picture with today’s letter. You look particularly fantastic (and upset that you have to sit next to me) in it by the way.

 

I’m writing a feature story for work right now about this super cool band called The Commonwealth. The two kids who started it lived in my building last year and used to jam in the stairwells where the acoustics are really good (when you get to college, you’ll see that people will literally sing anywhere there is good acoustics – stairwells, bathrooms, the laundry room …).

 

I was going over the quotes I got from them and one really stuck with me. In reference to UMass one of the band members said, “everyone’s just killing it, doing their own thing. It’s just a growing culture of people and music.”

 

His words couldn't be more true. After working on the story, I realized it was the first time I haven’t been excited to head home for winter break. The culture out here in the Valley is just so vibrant, which I know sounds wicked cliché but it’s the best word I have. People out here are unique and pursuing their dreams and just loving life. It’s such an awesome place to be a student.

 

I think I’ll miss that the most over the next 6 weeks, you know? Being able to go to a poetry reading or a lecture by a world-renowned scholar or a concert almost any day of the week. If you find yourself bored at UMass, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s impossible to take advantage of everything it has to offer, there’s too much!

 

Obviously I love Scituate – for me, home is where the ocean is. But, I’ll certainly miss the energy that comes with living in this bubble of young people and academia and culture. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before, I can’t wait for you to feel it for yourself.

 

I miss you.

 

Talk to you soon,

Marie

 

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