University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


First Steps on a Journey

I don’t think I will be able to stress how much I actually loved Frosh-O. A lot of people always talk about how awkward it was and about all of the people that they still see today that they remember but pretend to forget. I loved Frosh-O; I got to meet so many new people. I was scared about being in a new place, but everyone else was in the same boat! Though some people knew each other going into Frosh-O, it didn’t matter. Mostly because they were put in different dorms, and by Saturday (the second day), new friendships were already made.

Frosh-O made a lasting impression on me. I still keep in touch with people I met during frosh-O. I will never forget eating dinner with Zahm and meeting Nick who had awesome stories about a bear encounter on his camping trip. I will never forget the pre-Domerfest dance party with Siegfried where I met Frank who just happened to be from my hometown, and though we had mutual friends, we had never met before. And most importantly, I will never forget meeting my first friends in Farley – Hollyn , Emily, and Melissa – who became my best friends, my confidantes, and my sisters.

Being a first year student was one of the most exciting times in my life, and every year since I started at Notre Dame, I have been jealous of the first year class because of this. When I was a first year student, I would venture to say that many of us felt invincible – whether it be with grades, social life, athleticism or other talents. Our opportunities were endless. But during our time here, we began to be tested. Not necessarily in the form of exams – though we have had plenty of those – but since then, I have really begun to realize who I am. The decisions I have made – in the classroom, in the dorm, on the weekends, doing homework (or not doing homework) – began to reflect my own true character. Every year since my first year, I have learned something new about myself. And just when I thought I got life figured out, everything would change again as I would make these discoveries.

Sometimes I think about what I would tell myself as a first-year student. It would probably go something like this:

I want you to remember yourself, right now – how you are feeling, your goals, your anticipation for the future. Because in as little as just a year from now, you are going to look back at today and realize that you are a completely different person. It is exciting and scary to embark on this journey of self- realization. So amidst all the homework, and studying for tests, all the football stats that are essential to commit to memory, the inevitable parties on the weekends, and just trying not to admit that you may miss home a little bit, it’s all worth it. Because you’ll step back in just a short time and think to yourself: ‘Man, Notre Dame is one crazy place. It’s pushed me to just incredible limits. I’ve had to face situations I would never have thought I would have to. My strengths as well as weaknesses were spread out before me like never before. And there is just no possible way that I could ever trade it for any other college experience.’