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See you in September

Katie Pamitier | Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The average college student is currently enduring a lot of tragedy. Our country is fighting a war in the Middle East; a recent studied confirmed that, although equally educated, women are still getting paid less than men; and we have benchcriers littered throughout the beautiful Notre Dame campus. Although not as serious as disturbed international relations or sexism in the workplace, benchcriers still contribute to the morale of college students, especially in the spring.

Many of you, especially first year students, may be wondering what benchcriers are. Allow me to explain. After finals last spring, while packing up the Suburban and making all our last minute stops on campus, my mom and I could not help but notice the large amount of couples sitting on benches throughout campus. Clasping a tissue between their interlocking hands, these couples were tearfully mourning the thought of a three-month absence from their beloved. Overwhelmed by the massive amount of couples, my mom and I could not help but dub these woeful lovers “benchcriers.”

And with the end of the year upon us, I assume many couples will be taking their positions on a bench very soon. Whether they get there early and snag one of the benches by the Grotto, or put off their goodbyes and are left sharing a bench with another sobbing couple by a very public bookstore entrance, these couples will all be dreading the time about to be spent away from one another. While I sympathize with these couples, these benchcrying situations do not all have to be sorrowful. In fact, they can be quite joyful.

So whether you find yourself on a bench with your boo in the upcoming weeks, or you are more like me and are in a not-in-a-relationship-but-I-am-still-going-to-miss-my-friends kind of situation, take some time to reflect on the following few things to add a little joy, and humor, to your upcoming benchcrying experience.

The Michigan State game: If you were lucky enough to snag these away game tickets, then you truly made a lasting memory. Enduring the unforgiving rain and wind was totally worth it.

The Ben Folds concert: Nothing beats a packed Stepan Center when it’s raining, but Ben Folds referring to the venue as a “geodescent dome” made his concert even more amazing.

The SNL speaker series: Nice work, SUB. Inviting Ana Gasteyer, Colin Quinn, and Kenan Thompson to talk about their SNL days was a novel idea that attracted all types of Notre Dame students. The FTT majors used it as a way of jump-starting their careers, while the rest of us enjoyed hearing about what Will Ferrell was like off the air.

The men’s basketball Alabama upset: It is not very often a student body has a chance to rush the court, but after the men’s basketball team defeated then-No. 4 Alabama, the Leprechaun Legion was the first on the court to celebrate with the team. And with the team’s continued success, including an undefeated home game record, this year’s basketball season was truly a memorable one.

The Blue-Gold game: Not only was it a perfect spring day in the always-unpredictable South Bend climate, this year’s game allowed Notre Dame students, alums and fans the once in a lifetime opportunity to see two of the greatest coaches in Notre Dame football history on one field. Truly a Blue-Gold game for the books.

Omelets at SDH: No longer do we need to wake up at 8 a.m. on a weekday to get our favorite breakfast food. South Dining Hall launched weekend brunch omelets this spring, a milestone in food services for all us egg lovers.

Whether you were able to experience one or all of these events, they surely had a positive impact on your academic year at Notre Dame. But these staple events pale in comparison to the numerous memorable moments you shared with close friends and classmates. Whether of sharing late-night pizzas at Reckers, day trips to Chicago, or off-campus Target and Rocco’s runs, we all have certain memories with our friends that we will cherish forever. And for us underclassmen, we thankfully have the opportunity to make more of these memories in the upcoming years. The seniors, although graduating, are not going away empty-handed. Leaving with them are lasting friendships and numerous memories of their time here at Notre Dame. And while we may be sad to be without our friends until late August, and for the seniors, until next football season, there is no excuse to be a benchcrier. Reminisce about old times and look forward to the new ones. And, instead of crying on a bench, just smile and say, as the Four Seasons so eloquently put it, “See you in September.”

Katie Palmitier is a sophomore political science major. She can be contacted at kpalmiti@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.