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Golden senior year

Nicole Zook | Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Watching the freshmen as they walked around campus for the past week or so – they looked a bit scared the first few days, then a bit more confident as they settled into campus life over the weekend – I was reminded less of how I felt my first few weeks on campus and more of how while this is a new beginning for some students, it is the beginning of an end for the seniors.As the freshmen are looking forward to an amazing four years here, we just have one precious year of life in our bubble left before we are harshly thrust into the real world.Luckily for us, before we have to face that reality, we are blessed with what I’m told may be the most amazing year of our lives – senior year, a title that should be not only capitalized but capitalized on. Senior year is a magical time, a year full of firsts, last firsts and very lasts.For me in particular, senior year shines ahead of me like a bright promise. Why? Because I had a very special birthday this summer that allows me to enter any of South Bend’s fine establishments legally. This leaves me in a somewhat unusual situation – I’m that senior who has never been to the South Bend bars. For the past three years, I have been designated driving those lucky ducks of legal age to Heartland, Fiddler’s, RumRunners, State and Finnegan’s, then sadly sighing, shifting and heading back to my dorm. I’m even that extremely rare senior who never got to sail on the legendary Boat. Oh, once last year when I took about 15 people there in the back of a pickup truck, I got up those long stairs and got a peek inside, but my ship couldn’t sail any further. But I heard the stories. Fantastic tales of a magical senior year – of penny pitchers, dancing all night, ridiculous pick-up lines and somewhat shady but wonderful bars where everyone could link arms and sing my favorite Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Billy Joel tunes before heading home in a haze of happiness. Tales of a particular drink at the Backer that could prevent you from ever even making it home at all. And most of all, tales of the good times at Corby’s, where the Woodchuck flows freely and I could never get in.But now … now all these places lay before me like a beacon of light shining hope into my very own senior year. I want to utilize the little time I have left here – and, of course, my ID – to the best of my ability. The promise of senior year leads me to believe that my last football season will be an amazing one, that I will spend many hilarious nights with my friends making memories and that the establishments of South Bend will live up to the legends. It leads me to believe that in two short semesters, I will look back and wonder where the time went. That this will in fact be the best year of college yet. That in the end, these are the days I will remember for the rest of my life. Senior year glitters ahead of me, and as much as I know I won’t want it to be over, I sure can’t wait to get it started.So who wants to buy me a drink?