So... I know not a lot of you have heard, and this is going to come pretty suddenly... but I've decided to stay at Michigan to complete my masters degree in elementary education.
"But what about UPenn?"
Over spring break, when I visited, I fell in love with the campus and I really liked the program. I decided that I felt UPenn was the right school for me, and within a week of coming back, I sent in my acceptance letter. It was a pretty hard decision the first time around, though, because I had always loved Michigan's program, and had been connected to the professors since I was a sophomore (I know, I was one of those overachieving underclassmen who just wanted to get everything done right... haha). I had planned out my coursework so that I would be able to get into the program, and I was thrilled when I did. However, I felt that UPenn had an urban focus that I couldn't overlook that Michigan seemed to be lacking in. Not that the urban focus wasn't there at Michigan - it was just different. Penn also gave me a small scholarship, which at the time seemed like a good amount, you know?
Then comes Thursday (2 days ago). I opened my email and saw an email from one of the professors at Michigan, telling me I had gotten a half-tuition scholarship. What?! But I already rejected Michigan... I immediately called her, thanked her for the scholarship, and asked if I could have a few days to reconsider my choice. She was very supportive and understanding, and just so sweet about it all. She told me that I was one of the strongest candidates for the program and that they really wanted me to be a part of the program because they felt I had a lot to bring. Cost-wise, Michigan now made more sense.
So I started thining about the two programs. Both are small in size (~50 students) and both a year long. Michigan has an ESL endorsement that you can get with your teaching certification, which I have always wanted (useful if I were to move overseas one day!), while Penn did not. Penn was in the city, while Michigan... is not, haha. :) Living costs in Ann Arbor are cheaper. I would need a car here, but not in Philly. Thoughts like these bounced around in my head for the past two days, but I think I knew in my heart that Michigan was the right choice. Both programs are wonderful and while I feel a little sad that I won't be going somewhere new, Ann Arbor has really become home for me these past couple years, and I would love to spend another year here. :) In the future, I will probably have a chance to move to the East Coast, but I don't think I would ever move back to Michigan to work... so it makes sense.
All in all, though, I think God has a funny way of working sometimes. Throughout this whole grad school process, my prayer was, "God, just make it clear where You want me to go!" I kind of hoped that I would just get into one school, and I would know that's where God wanted me. But instead, he gave me 6 great schools to choose from... and my decisions changed, but I think I've also learned that no matter where I am, God can use that for His glory.
So, I'm here for another year. :) So excited to see what God has in store for me!