Finding My Home Away from Home

Four years ago in April, I was in the midst of one of the biggest changes in my life. My mom had dropped the bomb that we were going to pick up and move from our home in New Jersey to a new town in Massachusetts. I was less than happy. I was already worried about choosing the right college and leaving my friends, but to pick up everything and move felt like too much.

I had applied to 8 different schools and was slowly receiving the waitlisted, acceptance, and rejection letters. When it came finally down to it I had two schools to pick from, one of which was Catholic. I decided to attend Odyssey Day and upon pulling out of the driveway with my grandmother, I realized this would be the last time I ever saw my house in New Jersey.

With moving on my mind, I had it in my head that I was not going to like the school. After the trip down to DC, I was nervous and homesick and overall in a bad mood. All I remembered from my first tour a few months ago was that the school was Catholic. But then I stepped foot on campus and was struck by the beauty. The students were incredibly kind; in fact, one walked me all the way across campus to help me find a classroom. While I was sitting in on a class, the professor asked for my opinion and input (as a senior in high school this was SO cool), and I was overcome with a feeling of welcome. But I still wasn’t sold. It wasn’t until one of the students offered to take a group of us to St. Vinny’s chapel on campus to attend 10:30pm mass. When it was time to say the Our Father everyone in the church held hands and in the midst of all the chaos in my life, I suddenly knew that Catholic would be my home for the next four years.

I have not once regretted this decision. I am currently in my junior year of nursing school, which can be cut throat at other schools. Here at Catholic, the junior class has a group message with all 76 of us, we share study materials, support each other’s extracurricular activities, and offer support before the numerous exams we have. I could not imagine getting through nursing school without such a huge support system. People want you to succeed here, in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and in your personal life. Catholic has a huge safety net–they’ll pick you up when you fall and support you every step of the way.

–Ella W., Class of 2019, School of Nursing

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