This is the way to get the most from Notre Dame.
Success in your first year at Notre Dame involves more than just going to class and getting A’s — not only do you need to participate fully in the classroom, but you should be open to the life-changing experiences that engaging with art, music, literature, religion, history, science, and mathematics outside the classroom will bring. Students who actively engage with our many campus communities, both formal and informal, make a smoother transition to the University and have a richer, more fulfilling first-year experience. Finding your place in our community is so important that the Rev. Hugh Page, Dean of the First Year of Studies, has created a set of “must-do” activities called The Dean’s A-List to inspire you to find your unique calling at Notre Dame and to recognize you for what you achieve outside the classroom in your first year.
If you are not sure where to start in finding community, talk with your First Year advisor about what your interests and hobbies are. You advisor is well-versed in the many resources and opportunities at Notre Dame and will be able to connect you with new possibilities for personal and intellectual development.
Here are a few ideas to start your thinking about this important aspect of your first year:
- One of the most fundamental ways to connect with people based on a common interest is to join a Collaborative Learning Group through the First Year of Studies’ Learning Resource Center. Collaborative Learning Group members are people who are taking the same class and work together to do homework, discuss class material, and prepare for exams under the leadership of an upper-class student who has completed the course. People who take part in these groups make good academic progress, but they also have fun and make friends.
- The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement can connect you with mentors and financial support for pursuing your research interests. CUSE staff can also help you plan the process necessary to successfully compete for nationally-competitive awards and fellowships.
- The Center for Social Concerns helps students find non-curricular activities in service, advocacy, community organizing, and other means of becoming engaged locally in addressing social concerns.
- Campus Ministry fosters spiritual growth through worship and prayer, reflection and service, and education and faith formation. You can also help as an usher, server, or lector at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. But don’t worry if you’re not Catholic — there are many kinds of worship on campus.
- Your residence hall will have many activities that you can join, and Student Government and the Student Activities Office are good places to look for opportunities to participate and make a difference at Notre Dame.
- International Student Services and Activities supports students who are coming to Notre Dame from other countries and Multicultural Student Programs and Services offers educational, networking, cosponsorship, and community organizing services and opportunities to the entire campus, most particularly students from groups that have been historically underrepresented at Notre Dame.
- The Arts should be a part of your Notre Dame experience. From the Snite Museum of Art, the DeBartolo Center for the Performance Arts, the Department of Music, the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, and Shakespeare at Notre Dame, to the student-run radio station WVFI and TV station NDtv, there are many places for you to find and express creativity at the University.
- The President’s Forum calls on the entire campus to consider an issue of national or international importance over the course of the academic year and, each year, our schools, colleges, departments, and centers bring hundreds of distinguished leaders and scholars from all over the world to the Notre Dame campus to connect students like you with what’s going on in the world. Take a look at what’s happening in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and the Institute for Latino Studies, as well as the event calendars for the School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Letters , the Mendoza College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science to find forums, talks, or conferences that may interest and challenge you. The Notre Dame Main Calendar brings together events from all over campus in a central location.