Blog Column: 

Kate,

It’s my last day of undergraduate classes and I’m just as terrified as I was on the first one. I guess that while a whole lot of things have changed, not everything has.

A little over four years ago I didn't want to go to UMass at all. It was too big and rural and full of concrete. I look back at high school me and shake my head at the girl who thought she knew exactly what she wanted. Coming to UMass and being a part of CHC has been the best decision I’ve made thus far. I truly believe this school has helped me to become a better person. I think UMass has that effect on people.

I’ve traveled Europe, conducted original research and made some of my best friends through this school. I’ve learned what it means to build doors and windows of opportunity for yourself. I’ve eaten more omelets at Hamp than I could count and spent way too much money on pizza at Roots. There are times I wonder if I spent more late-nights and early mornings in that dusty Collegian office than in my own bed. I wouldn’t take any of it back.

I’ve had the privilege to learn from and study among some of the most intelligent people I will ever meet here. The UMass community pushes me to be better in every aspect of my life. It’s a scrappy school. I’d like to think it made me a little scrappy too.

People say college is the best four years of your life and to be honest, I kind of hope not. I’ve got a lot more years left. But it has absolutely been the best four years so far, and I hope that your time here will be the same for you. I know that when you were first accepted to UMass I wrote, “You’ve done good, kid.” Is it vain if I look back at my college experience and say the same to myself? Sometimes you have to be your own big sister.

So here’s my last bit of advice, Kate: be smart and kind and generous, in everything that you do.

I’ll miss you, UMass.

See you around,
Marie

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