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Now it’s time to turn

Adriana Pratt | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“To everything, turn, turn, turn, There is a season, turn, turn, turn, And a time for every purpose, under Heaven.”
The Byrds’ song, inspired by Ecclesiastes, captures the many dimensions and emotions of our ever-changing lives. The moment that giant, regal envelope came in the mail with our names stenciled in gold – or a phone call from the admissions office said we got off the waitlist, as in my case – our lives set on a new course.
From spring to summer, summer to fall, our realities shifted in 2008. We fell from the top of the high school food chain to the bottom of the Domer pecking order. Our egos, surrounded by the best of the best, got a much-needed reality-check.
Four years later, we emerge more confident in our abilities, wiser than we thought we would be and still wildly inexperienced in the realities of the world. A mix of excitement and anxiety flutter in our stomachs as graduation edges ever closer.
Our season as Notre Dame students is coming to a close, and of course it’s sad. Of course we’re going to miss the people we lived with, studied with, partied with and crushed on from afar.
Those moments we embarrassed ourselves and the ones in which we exceeded our own expectations have equally shaped our character and ambitions.
We couldn’t see it while we were in it, but looking back it’s obvious there was a plan all along. The “Turn! Turn! Turn!” lyrics provide a perfect frame to recount those moments that brought us to these final days as Domer undergrads.
A time to laugh: If Facebook serves one purpose, it’s to ensure we ruin our chances of employment by providing an Internet record of our hilarious undergraduate moments. Themed parties, spring breaks, dorm dances and numerous nights on the town set the stage for some of the most random entertainment we’ve provided and witnessed.
A time to weep: Notre Dame football. But next year will definitely be better!
A time to build up: I’ve never met a more service-oriented group of individuals than those at Notre Dame. From tutoring to building homes to shaving our heads in solidarity with cancer victims, our class went above and beyond in the realm of helping others. By building up other communities, we strengthened the bonds of our own.
A time to break down: Too. Much. Work. We all had those moments when a precarious dash up Main Building’s steps no longer scared us, as we became more and more certain we couldn’t conquer not only Hesburgh’s, but Notre Dame’s challenges. Despite our doubts, we did. And here we are. Don’t forget just how successful you can be.
A time to dance: From Frosh-O to dirty dorm rooms to the Finny’s stage, if one thread pirouettes through our four years at Notre Dame, it’s dancing. Sweet to sassy to sloppy, we’ve tested our moves and certainly left indelible impressions on our peers. Whether or not that’s a good thing, it was undeniably fun.
A time to mourn: Over the past few years, we tragically and unexpectedly lost irreplaceable members of our community. Declan Sullivan, Xavier Murphy and others prematurely passed and left holes we’re still not sure how to fill. We learned lessons about life and death before we wanted to, but now understand the preciousness and fragility of the days we’ve been blessed with.
A time to gain: Memories. As a quote inked on former Editor-in-Chief Douglas Farmer’s desk says, “We just don’t recognize the greatest moments of our lives as they are happening.” We know the thrills of anticipation and the longing of looking back, but while we’re gaining the moments we’ll fondly recall, we lose ourselves in them. And that’s the beauty of living and the beauty of college.
A time to lose: The Freshmen 15. Or the Senior 16. We can no longer blame “college” for the sometimes less-than-stellar health choices we make, but we can certainly blame our future careers. Cheers to the working world!
Life is a question mark right now, a path we can’t see two steps beyond where we stand. It’s half the appeal, half the battle. We know, though, that the fullness of the experiences we claim our own has prepared us to test those uncertain waters.
We’ll definitely mess up, that’s for sure. But there will also be success and (hopefully) lots of it. May the next season of our lives be as diverse and wonderful as the one that’s ending.
This was our season.
Now it’s time to turn, turn, turn.
And find our purpose under Heaven.

Adriana Pratt is from Carmel, Ind., but is excited to start her post-grad life as a journalist in New York City. Many thanks in advance to any friends, family and homeless people who offer her a place to stay on their couch/floor/bench. She feels truly blessed to have met so many fabulous people over the past four years and can’t thank them enough for all the help and guidance they’ll be forced to provide in the future. She can be reached at apratt@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not
necessarily those of The Observer.