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Lessons Learned

Alicia Smith | Thursday, April 2, 2009

Remember back to first grade. The teacher handed each of us a piece of paper, and we were forced to write an essay about what we learned in school that day. I remember writing about English class, and gym class and recess, all of my favorite parts of the day.

As my freshman year is finally winding down, I’ve thought about the different things I’ve learned while I’ve been here, the most important, of course, being Notre Dame football.

As the stands are packed with fans with various levels of sobriety, there is a certain feeling of kinship among us. It doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are, as long as you are not a fan of the opposing team. With the flourish of fanfare, the outbursts of cheers, and the magic of the marching band, the football games cannot be missed. Ever. Under any circumstances. They are the most important part of the weekend, and I cannot wait to experience another season.

Although football is a substantial part of college life, there are other important things I’ve learned as well. Such as, do not lose your ID card, because you will not be able to eat. I personally have lost mine about a hundred times. Every time it disappears, I find myself falling to the same panicky routine that ends in me calling security, and finding it three days later.

Not only am I without food, I cannot get into my dorm, and I am locked outside until someone kindly lets me in. In the winter, this is a serious problem.

Winters at Saint Mary’s are long, cold and miserable. With a foot of snow on the ground from December to February, life seems to get a little bleak. Campus life pretty much dies as everyone stays in their buildings as much as possible. When I have to wear two pairs of gloves, a scarf, a hat, snow boots and a thick, heavy winter coat to class every day, I find myself not wanting to go.

However, skipping class is far from a good idea. The one I day I miss will be the day that the professor decides to do something really important. That day the professor will hand out the only assignment that cannot be made up.

This leads to the final thing I have learned while being a college student. There is never a second chance. College presents so many opportunities; some are fantastic, and some are really stupid decisions. College is something to experience. In order to do that, I have to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. I have to try new things, and I have to really live life. With each and every day, I find myself learning new things, and really experiencing what life is all about. By this time next year, I will have a whole new list of things to write in my essay.