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Big kids don’t cry

Laura Coletti | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just over one week ago, my younger brother moved into Stanford Hall and began his freshman year. He’s got his whole Notre Dame experience ahead of him. I couldn’t be more jealous of where he is at in life.

Or so I thought.

Reaching the last year of college has been nothing short of surreal. The first week and a half of this school year have been filled with exclamations of, “I can’t believe we’re seniors!” It is fun and exciting and confusing and daunting. But it is a good time for us.

It’s easy to get caught up in nostalgia and memories of the last three years. I have a friend who graduated in May who constantly pointed out things that were the “last first” or the “last last”. “Laura, you don’t understand,” she’d say. “This is my last first home football game.” And I have to wonder if that friend spent too much time focusing on the sadness associated with the end of her Notre Dame career approaching to live truly in the moment. Because, while I am certainly in no hurry to graduate, I am all for embracing this year for what it is instead of dwelling on what our lives soon won’t be.

I’m not jealous of my freshman brother anymore because, in a sense, things are all new for us, too. We are able to break out of the monotony and routine we may have found ourselves in our sophomore and junior years. We can take classes that actually interest us because our schedules are more flexible. We can strengthen friendships and meet new people because we can legally socialize in the same places and because we are all back from studying abroad. We can do everything at Notre Dame we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t because, well, this is it – our last shot. We have a heightened sense of urgency.

I was one of the few people from our class at the B1 Block Party last weekend, and I thought Boys Like Girls put on a good show. During their finale (the song, “Love Drunk,”) the lead singer stopped everything during the first chorus and said to the crowd, “I look out, and I see you all with your cameras and phones. You’re trying to capture the moment without really living in it. Do yourselves a favor and put the cameras away and just rock out with us and enjoy the show.”

I think the same should be applied to our senior year. Obviously there is a lot to consider in terms of post-graduation plans, and that’s important. But the emphasis of this year shouldn’t be placed so much on what was, or on what will be, as it should be placed on what is, right now.

Rock out, and enjoy the show.