Stephanie, or as many other people know you as, my little sister, my best friend, my ride-or-die, my partner in crime, my support system, my teammate, my role model, my pal, my “Ena.”

Stephanie, you did it. You got into McGill University, the college of your dreams. When you called me a few short weeks ago, your words piercing through the tears of excitement, there was no other response for me to have besides screaming. You shocked me, you shocked our family, you shocked the school, and above all, you shocked yourself, and I wouldn’t have had this decision come any other way. All of your hard work these past four years paid off; the hours of studying for Mrs. Urdang’s SATII World History Class freshmen year, ample weekends of ACT tutoring, and the blood, sweat and tears you invested into your extra-circulars seem so worth it now.

You did it, sista, you really did it.

Stephanie, as you get ready to to move to Montreal, there are some words of wisdom that I want you to hear. The bed you love so much may be changed, the people who love you and support you in every decision will now be a country away, and the experiences that are to come are unprecedented. Take advantage of every opportunity you have, love with everything inside of you, and laugh as hard as you can with the people who will be making these incredible memories with you. Be loud, be bold, and be you. And you know that I’ll be there every single step of the way, cheering you on just as I did at your bowling tournaments throughout high school.

Stephanie, always remember to call Grandma, Harv, Grandma El and Papa Marty, to text Mom and Dad once in a while, and to FaceTime me just as much as I did you. Remember to stand tall, to fight for what you know is right, and to be the best version of yourself. Your future is so bright, kid; stay focused, stay humble and motivated, and everything will fall into place. The panic attacks and mental breakdowns are inevitable in the four years that are ahead of you, but with each one comes a “light at the end of the tunnel.” You are in for one hell of a roller coaster—so strap your seatbelt (just as we did on King da Ka), keep your eyes wide open, and enjoy the ride.

Stephanie, you are an incredibly smart, talented, shy, and personable young lady who I am so lucky to be able to call my best friend and sister. You have set the bar so incredibly high, and I know that if you can achieve your goals, nothing for me seems impossible. Though our time together will now be limited, I look forward to the uncountable laughs, tasty food, and of course, yummy drinks that are to come with my visits to Canada. The ache that I have at the thought of you leaving pains me, but the excitement for what adventures are to come swell my heart.

Stephanie, as you begin to collect your winter apparel and pack the little room downstairs with all that you will need to begin your college journey, always know that I am there for you through the good and bad, thick and thin, pretty and the ugly. I will always be your shoulder to cry on, your ear for a good rant, and your voice for advice when Mom calls wondering why you did poorly on your first midterm of the semester. I will be your biggest supporter, number one fan, older sister, and best friend. And I will ALWAYS love you unconditionally, no matter the distance.

Stephanie, I miss you so much every single day already, but the best is yet to come. I am SO proud of you and all that you have accomplished so far, and I am so eager to see what your bright future holds. To my little sister, my best friend, my ride-or-die, my partner in crime, my support system, my teammate, my role model, my pal, my “Ena,” you did it. Here’s to the next four, kiddo!

Love you today and always to the moon and back,

Your annoying older sister who will continue to call you four times a day