University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


The Dorm Family

We gathered as a community, just as we once had four years ago. As we sat around tables and shared a meal, we laughed about all the times we shared throughout the past four years. Through the good and the bad, Pasquerilla West has been our home, a place to which we could always return. When I arrived on campus almost four years ago, sitting in the family minivan with all my belongings, waiting with my siblings amidst the annual freshmen move-in chaos, I didn’t have the slightest idea what to expect. I had no idea that my dorm would become the center of my Notre Dame experience. PW has been a source of comfort and familiarity for me during a time that was often challenging and confusing. We could say that our senior dinner was a last hurrah, a goodbye before we begin the process of going our own separate ways. But that wouldn’t be the whole story. It was really a celebration of our time here as a family and all that we’ve accomplished together.

There was a time when I was nervous about dorm life. I wasn’t sure if I would get along with my roommate, or if I would like living with 200 other girls. As it turns out, PW has been so much more than just a shared space. It has been the birthplace of my fondest memories, the backdrop to many nights spent laughing along with my classmates. It’s been a great place to share breadsticks, and an even better place to grow up.

During football season, part of my duty as an RA was to take a shift watching the downstairs lobby. A young woman, her husband, and young toddler came to the door and knocked. As I told them that they needed a PW resident to let them in, she explained to me that she used to live in PW and just wanted to show her new family her college dorm. I watched them walk through the lobby area, and smiled as she showed her young daughter where her name was on some of the PW plaques. They reminisced about old times, taking pictures and commenting on how much has changed. She thanked me and said she couldn’t imagine coming back to campus without visiting her old home.

Coming into my senior year, I thought I would spend my year figuring out my future, wrapping up my studies, and celebrating with my fellow classmates every chance I could. I thought it would be a year to finish journeys already started, appreciate friendships already made, and answer questions already asked. I could not have been more mistaken. As it turns out, it’s never too late to make new friends, to celebrate new beginnings, or to listen to new perspectives. My section has been the best thing that could have happened to my senior year. These girls have given me more than I could have ever provided them as an RA. They’ve taught me that life is best lived in the moment, not staring straight ahead into the future. That sometimes we need to fall to remind us what it means to be human. For showing me an environment of support, and for constantly reminding me that there’s something special about living at Notre Dame, I owe my fellow Weasels my sincere gratitude.