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Snow over bros

Dan Brombach | Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why go to Notre Dame? Southern frat kids may be your answer.

My experiences in life have led me to believe that sometimes, an appreciation of what is all around you comes only when you leave it behind, step over the fence and test if the grass is, in fact, greener on the other side.

At no time was this more apparent than during my spring break trip to Destin, Fla.

Don’t get me wrong, Destin was beautiful and I had an amazing time, but the whole trip also served to squash any reservations I had about choosing to attend Notre Dame.

I won’t lie – the thought of going to a southern school like Alabama or Florida and being able to enjoy blue skies and white sandy beaches almost year-round was certainly a tempting one.

I also won’t deny that South Bend can be a dismal place to live in the long winter months, during which it has all the cheerful atmosphere and warm, enjoyable weather of a Siberian work camp.

Going to crowded dorm parties is sometimes the only way to get warm, provided you don’t mind the overwhelming smell of sweat, stale beer and social anxiety.

All thoughts of weather aside, the reason why my decision to attend Notre Dame was so strongly validated came down to one thing: at Notre Dame, I don’t have to deal with southern frat boys.

Frat stars infested seemingly every place we went on our vacation, exhibiting behavior so consistently intoxicated, haughty and belligerent that it would have put even Charlie Sheen to shame.

The amount of muscle shirts and snap-back hats per square-inch made most of the college students we encountered resemble the unholy offspring of the “Jersey Shore” cast and a college lacrosse team.

Most of you are probably familiar with the expression, “If I had a nickel for every time ‘blank’ happened, I’d be rich.”

Well, I can confidently say that if I had earned a nickel for every time I heard someone say “bro,” “chill” or “pledge” during my trip, I might have made enough money to actually fit in with all the pretentious frat kids living off their parents’ trust funds.

Flying out of Destin, I reflected on how much this glimpse into what my college experience could have been had made me appreciate the students who surround me everyday at Notre Dame.

I won’t say that all students at southern universities are like the ones I encountered, and I’ve met my share of pretentious classmates, but I feel a connection with the students of Notre Dame that was noticeably absent from my interactions with students from other schools.

Only by stepping over the fence into this radically different atmosphere did I gain an appreciation of how special the culture of mutual respect at Notre Dame truly is.

Give me that over the beach any day.