Everything I’ll miss about Notre Dame when I graduate
I’m crying already
In the last few weeks, I’ve been coming to the slow realization that graduation is almost here. I can no longer deny it – the false sense of bliss and ignorance are starting to crumble around me.
But through this, a sense of deep appreciation has emerged. As I walk from class to class, I’ve started stopping and looking at the Dome. I marveled at all it represented for me, those before me, and those yet to come. During my runs, I make a special stop at the Grotto in order to let the magic and peace of the site fill me once more.
As a second-semester senior here at the University of Notre Dame, I would like to share some things that I will miss upon walking across that stage in May.
I will miss the glimmer of the sun and the rolling of the fog on the lakes as I ran breathless on a dirt trail. I will remember as I attempt and fail to cook dinner for the umpteenth time, the friendly smiles of the Dining Hall workers as I swiped in to eat a meal I didn’t have to cook myself. On beautiful days when I am stuck inside a building, I will dream about laying out on the quad or throwing around a football on days that the sun decided to shine.
Sometimes I will get chills as I recall my random walks around campus as dusk when my only companion was the cool, night air or when I remember seeing the Dome loom at the end of Notre Dame Ave as the bus came closer to the stop. I will miss performing on the stage of Washington Hall, bats and all.
I will miss getting all dressed up and hanging with my friends during SYRs and formals. As I watch Notre Dame kill it on TV, I will recall the excitement that buzzed throughout the football stadium as our team took the field.
I will miss joining the chorus of voices singing the Fight Song and doing pushups after we scored. I will shed a couple of tears as I hear the Alma Mater and envision myself swaying alongside my Notre Dame sisters and brothers as we sang. I will miss quietly walking the stacks of the library, trying to find the oldest book there (record find is 1863) while being mesmerized by the expansive knowledge stored there. I will kind of miss the fluttering excitement of discovering new classes, but I won’t miss Darting/NOVO super early in the morning.
As I am running on a new trail somewhere, I will think about the natural beauty of the Lakes, and shudder at the thought of crazy geese that still terrify me. Whenever I watch Rocky, I will laugh to myself about running up the steps of Bond Hall and celebrating at the top. In some weird way I will miss discovering the weird contemporary statues, but most of all I will miss marveling at the art inside the Basilica.
I will miss all of my secret study spots though my days of studying will soon lay behind me. I will dream about the beauty of the courtyard by Hayes-Healy as it glistened with snow on silent January afternoons. As I look up at the sky on my drive home, I will remember the sunset as the sky glowed orange, pink, and blue behind the Rock.
But most of all, I will miss the people
On the days when I work quietly in my apartment, I will think about the family that I found with the Asian American Association after attending the Freshman Retreat or the family I was randomly assigned freshman year (thank you for keeping it red hot Pyros).
Sometimes I will reflect on the memories I made with the family I joined as I was selected to serve on my Hall Staff, a moment that I will most certainly never forget. When I feel like dancing, I will gleefully reminisce on the Kapamilya I found as I danced my way through FASO’s Fiestang. When I read in the news about the issues that are in our country, I will remember how I felt as I shared someone else’s story alongside the amazing brothers and sisters that I bonded with during Show Some Skin. On those quiet days, when the rain is softly pattering on my window and I feel like sitting in the silence, I will look at the pictures and remember everyone who left us too soon.
I will miss my Notre Dame Family no matter where in the world I end up. As I end my four years at this magical place, I will always remember how I truly felt that I was ‘Welcomed Home’.
And Our Hearts Forever
Love Thee Notre Dame