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A school by any other name …

Emily Schrank | Monday, December 6, 2010

As I sit on my futon, writing this column and watching the snow fall outside, I find myself thinking about why I chose to come to Notre Dame.

I easily could have stayed in warm and sunny South Carolina and saved my parents a lot of money, too. But, let’s be honest, Notre Dame was really the only place for me.

With finals looming in the not too distant future, I can’t help but wonder how much easier this time of year might have been at any of the other colleges I applied to.

Sure, finals week is a stressful time for anyone, but there is no doubt that Notre Dame students are held to a higher standard of academic rigor.

Although the work seems monumental and never-ending now, when all is said and done, we’ll most certainly be better off.

We are learning important lessons and skills that will carry us through our future careers and, ultimately, the rest of our life. Notre Dame is truly preparing us for “the real world” and I am so thankful to be able to call this place home.

In these next few days leading up to exams and Christmas break, we have to remind ourselves of why we chose Notre Dame and that all of the hard work will pay off in the end.

There is also, of course, the spirit of the “Notre Dame family” and the undeniable sense of community that does not even possibly exist on any other college campus.

In the wake of Declan Sullivan’s death, I was reminded of what a unique and special place this is. Seeing the student body come together to mourn the loss of a fellow student was a true testament to the spirit of Notre Dame. I am so lucky to be a member of this family.

I also know that the friendships I have formed at Notre Dame will remain with me for the rest of my life. I am certain that the people who make up this place are some of the most kind and caring people you will ever meet.

In the short year and a half that I’ve spent as a student here, Notre Dame has also allowed me to discover and explore my interests and, ultimately, grow as a person. The various opportunities and experiences I have as a student here will no doubt shape and influence my life for the better.

So, thank you Mom and Dad, for giving me the greatest gift of all — a Notre Dame education — and everything that goes along with it. I could not ask for anything better.


The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Emily Schrank at eschrank@nd.edu