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The Path Forward

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The American Women's College
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Marilyn Shimkus ’TBD

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

I chose The American Women's College at Bay Path University because... well, let me tell you the whole story.

When my granddaughter was a senior in high school, she really wanted to tour colleges. However, she doesn’t drive. So, me being the good grandmother (Nana) that I am, I said, ‘Ok, drag me along,’ and off we went. I went to a total of four colleges with her, but we returned to Bay Path University five times or more. Each time there was an event or an open house, we were there. At the second event we attended, I had a chance to talk with one of the business professors, who had been explaining to my granddaughter how she could take a double major. I couldn’t help but interject that I had never finished college and always wished I had.

Unbeknownst to my husband, I applied to The American Women’s College at Bay Path University in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and was accepted. When he found out, he was so happy for me and began telling everyone he was married to a college girl. Thinking back, it still brings a smile to my face. I was all set to start my college career on February 24, 2018. Unexpectedly, on February 23, the day before I was to start classes, I woke up to find my husband had passed away next to me.

On Saturday morning, I debated, but I got dressed, took the one-hour drive to Sturbridge, and started my journey of being a college student. Yes, I went to class. It was hard, but I figured if I didn't start at that moment, I wouldn't start at all.

Everyone has been so helpful and supportive. I have really been made to feel wanted and that I belong...almost like part of a family. I would say the biggest thing I am learning right now is how to go on with my life and succeed at whatever I do. I want my husband to be proud of me. I know he isn't here physically, but spiritually, he is. Fortunately, my granddaughter was also accepted to Bay Path and is a full-time student studying interior design and marketing, living on the Longmeadow campus. Together with her at my side, I know we will be a success.

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