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Typical Trips Every Notre Dame Student Makes

Tatiana Spragins | Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Midterm week means sleepless nights and stressful studying, but thankfully Spring Break is coming along to bring a smile to everyone’s distressed face. And with Spring Break, many of our Notre Dame students will be making their way either to some warm and exotic location, or just home to sleep and watch TV for many uninterrupted hours. Yes, we all know these midterm breaks always come in at exactly the right time, and the very much-anticipated Spring Break is only a few dreadfully long, exam-packed days away.
As of mid February, plans were made and the “so what are you doing for Spring Break?” question is the newest go-to conversation starter. Unlike in the fall, rarely does anyone stay on campus for this semester’s break, and the traveling plans begin. Taking this into account and thinking of other breaks and typical Notre Dame student traveling habits, I have assembled a list of trips that every Domer makes throughout their time as a student. In a sort of undergraduate bucket list, you cannot graduate with ‘student experience honors’ without completing most, if not all, items on this list. Appealing to the reality and the stereotypical, in no particular order, here goes:

1. Notre Dame vs. University of Michigan football game in Ann Arbor
Fall at Notre Dame equals football, and going up to the Big House to watch the Irish play the Wolverines is definitely one of the defining experiences of Notre Dame undergraduate studies. Forget about those difficult books you had to read in class and that one time you understood what was being taught in your Orgo class. Wearing Muck Fichigan shirts and driving three hours to maybe have the chance to glorify your victory against one of ND’s favorite rivals in their own stadium … that is Notre Dame.

2. Appalachia
It seems that everyone does Appalachia. Service is, without a doubt, a big part of Notre Dame life and these trips serve as proof to this. Students that go always love it, and the number of applicants for these programs is always large, and increasing. Included in this section are the SSLP and ISSLP, which also offer summer service programs that are extremely popular and successful.

3. Chicago
Every Notre Dame student goes to Chicago for a weekend. They take pictures at the Bean and make it their Facebook profile picture, and then they eat deep-dish pizza.

4. Pro-life march in Washington, D.C.
Much like Appalachia, another aspect of your typical Catholic Notre Dame student is going to D.C. in January, to the pro-life march. Frequently, during that week of January, you’ll see students absent for class, and then back with a “Irish Fighting for Life” sweatshirt. To some, hopping on that bus to D.C. is a marking experience of life at Notre Dame where Catholic principles can easily be applied in every aspect of daily life.

5. Home for the weekend
If you go to Notre Dame, you’re from Chicago (which basically means you live anywhere in the Midwest). Therefore, you sometimes go home for the weekend. Actually, on your way there you’ll probably be sitting next to someone who decided to go to the city for the weekend (view item No. 3 of the list).

6. Michigan City outlets
This is mostly for the girls, although it applies to both sexes. Since South Bend isn’t your typical idea of the perfect college town and the Mishawaka Mall can become a little tiring after a while, the outlets in Michigan City provide a quick escape from academia to the wonderful world of shopping! An experience Notre Dame students have to have, at least once.

7. Spring Break in Daytona Beach, Florida
Finally, the most relevant item in the list for this week! Although some decide to be more ‘culturally diverse’ and go to Puerto Rico or Cancun, this trip is not so much a Notre Dame  must-do, but more of a college student requirement. Popular nation-wide, Spring Break in Daytona Beach is where all things tan and sunny happen. Many wild nights are experienced and yet memories of them are lost as you wake up hungover, in the clothes you wore last night, and completely unable to recall anything that happened after 9 p.m. Might sound like a regular weekend at Notre Dame, minus the sun, bikinis, beaches and tanning.