Kate,

You got into UMass! And the nursing program too! Congratulations, the long college process is over – at least almost. The work heavy part is, now it’s all about decisions and I’m here to help. With nine schools to choose between, since you got into every one you applied to (if your big sister can’t brag for you, who can?), there are a lot of things to consider.

Here are my 3 pieces of advice…for now:

  1. Make the right decision for you. Everyone has different dreams, majors, and bank accounts. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for you. I know that the idea of packing up and leaving home is scary and following your friends seems like a great idea – it's not. On that note, following me isn't necessarily the right choice either. I would love for you to come to UMass, but only if that's the right choice for you.This is the time to ignore what everyone else is doing, and decide for yourself. This is the next four years of your life.
     
  2. Think for the future. While we’re not fully adults, it’s time we start making decisions like we are. Pick the school that puts you in the best position academically, financially, and mentally. Don’t choose the prettier school over the college with the better nursing program (I promise you’ll come to love the brick and concrete here). Figure out what school offers the most opportunities specific to you and your interests. What schools give you the room to make your own?
     
  3. Remember, college is what you make of it. Of course there are going to be schools you will be happier at than others, but at the end of the day happiness has little to do with where you are. It’s all about what you do. The world is full of really cool people. I’m sure you’d be able to find some wherever you end up. The next four years are going to be some of the best, not because of what your mascot is but because of the new things you learn and tried and the people you met.

You’re making moves little sister, and I couldn’t be prouder!

I miss you.

See you soon,
Marie 

P.S. - I'm really glad we were wearing matching UMass sweatshirts when you got the acceptance letter. I think it's fate, just saying ...

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You're absolutely right that college is what you make of it. Gary Hall

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