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Dear Karissa, Congratulations!

With three exams, three papers, one lab and one concert left before my freshman ends, I am trying to stay on top of my schoolwork. It is so easy to get lost in the fact that we only have three weeks of school left and I want to spend all my time with my friends before they all leave to go home, and I start working full time this summer, here in Minneapolis. After spending 9 months in the city I now call my home, I can’t help but think what got me here.

My senior year of high school, at Oshkosh West High School was a challenging year for me. I know that most kids slack off their senior year, but not I, instead I decided to get a head start on college, and I took courses through our hometown college, as well as an AP class. I wanted to prepare for what everyone said college was going to be…lots of reading, writing, and studying.

It wasn’t until the end of March that I found out I was accepted into the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I had applied to six different schools, and I had been accepted into all five of them before I received my letter from the U. I remember the exact time and place I found out I was accepted. I was in Washington DC at the National 4-H Conference serving on the National 4-H Conference Planning Committee when my mom called and told me I had a letter in the mail from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I debated having her open it or not, and I finally decided to have her open it for me. She started reading it to me.

“Dear Karissa, Congratulations!?

That is when I lost it and starting jumping up and down because I was accepted into the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I remembered the first moment I had ever stepped on campus here the summer before my senior year of high school. It was love at first sight. The size of the school intrigued me. It was a challenge I was willing to take. The beauty of the school made me smile. It had one of the best layouts I had ever seen and it was extremely easy to get around. Then of course, the U has the “Minnesota Nice? factor, which made me feel at ease with the situation. I knew I didn’t want to transfer universities at any point, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities was the only school that felt right to me while I was touring.

The toughest decision I had when choosing a University to attend was the distance from my hometown. I pretty much knew that I wanted to go to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, but because I am the youngest, my sister had only gone to a school two hours away, and I am really close with my parents, I almost felt obligated to go to a school only an hour and a half away from home. I knew I would not be happy if I had gone that route though. My parents are supportive individuals, but they wanted me to go to a school closer to home. In the long run, though, they knew I would get more out of my college experience if I went to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The accepted my decision to attend the U, and I confirmed my enrollment the very next day.

Being here at the U is more than I could ever ask for. I have learned and grown so much in the past eight months and I couldn’t ask for a better school to do it at. I have met some of the most passionate and gifted people here and they make me want to be a better person. Not to mention, there is always something to do here, so there is never a dull moment. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the place for me.

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