This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for several months now, and I figured I’d better get it done before another school year was upon us!
I am so incredibly proud that my sister Maddie completed her first year of college! There’s been a whirlwind of changes and activity and I can’t believe just how well she’s taken to it all.
Aside from going to school full-time, she’s worked several jobs; two at stores in the mall, and babysitting for my friend Lisa a few times a week. She’s also made herself available to model for Susan when needed (as you can see from the picture above that I shamelessly stole from her).
I would be remiss, however, in not mentioning that she’s had some incredible help along the way.
Firstly, college is expensive. Although she was awarded some financial aid, Paul and I filled in the gap for the first semester and helped her buy books. Her second semester, Susan paid for tuition and books. It’s one thing for family to pay; that’s what family is supposed to do. Susan is my best friend. She had no obligation to help out, but as she told me, she believes in Maddie and wants her potential to be realized. Not going to college was not an option. She was in a position to help, and she did. We owe a great debt of gratitude to my dear friend for making it easier for us to keep Maddie where she needs to be and help her on her way to her future. Her encouragement means the world to us.
Secondly is our new friend Kate. Maddie met her during her first semester when she signed up for a required writing class that Kate was teaching. It was a tough class and Kate has high standards for college students (as she should!), so Maddie spent a lot of time with Kate during her office hours, getting extra help and learning how to manage her time. In the process, she and Kate got to know each other well, and became fast friends.
After several months working together and spending a lot of their free time together, Kate and her husband Brian offered to let Maddie stay with them so Maddie could be closer to school and work. We’ve become friends with them as well (what, you think I’d let my little sister move in with someone I didn’t know? No way!) and have been overwhelmed by how much they’ve helped my sister. They pushed her out of her comfort zone (not an easy task!) to branch out in her job search, and as a result she found a job she adores (she works at Coach, and has discovered she loves work in sales).
(As an aside, I do love that I can go into town and meet my sister for a meal regularly; its one of my happy places)
They helped her learn how to save and manage her money and buy her first car. Now, Kate is working with her to narrow down her choices for college when she transfers out next year, and how to navigate the admissions process. I’m watching my sister bloom into an incredible, capable woman and Kate gets so much of the credit for that. She believes in Maddie, and has stepped in give Maddie the push she needed in order to be successful in school and life. I cannot overstate this: I will never be able to repay her for all she has done this past year.
We are getting closer and closer to Maddie stretching out her wings and heading out to a bigger school, potentially someplace far away. We will miss her, but I can’t wait to see what she will accomplish with her life.
Congratulations on all you have done so far, little sister. I am so proud!