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A different tour

Kristen Durbin | Friday, April 26, 2013

As a senior whose graduation looms on the no longer distant horizon, I can’t avoid the constant realizations that a particular activity will be my “last” at Notre Dame. No matter how vehemently I deny the impending conclusion of my college experience, I’m slowly realizing how drastically different my life routine will be in just a few weeks.
Preemptive post-college depression aside, I unknowingly gave my last tour of campus for the undergraduate admissions office Monday. After such an abrupt end to my career as one of Notre Dame’s loyal salespeople, I considered how my tour guide spiel might have changed had I been cognizant of my last hurrah. I could have thrown caution to the wind and been as honest as possible about the Notre Dame student experience and avoided PR-friendly answers to every parent and wide-eyed prospie’s burning questions about our beloved University.
A sampling of my ideas for the realest campus tour ever:
Dorm life: If you enjoy wearing matching articles of clothing (looking at your neon orange beanies, Juggerknotts) to categorically awkward class-wide social gatherings in leaky geodesic domes, you’ll love our Frosh-O weekend! Good luck getting to class on time or meeting other humans if you’re in Carroll and get your birthday suit ready if Zahm or Alumni become your new home. Just because you party in the dorms doesn’t mean you can’t get a little drunken DFMO action every now and then. Oh, and what are parietals, you ask? Ha. Ha ha. Don’t let me spoil the surprise.
Academics: Is the workload tough at Notre Dame, you ask? Only if you never go to class, open your textbooks or set foot in the library during your four years here. You probably think you’ve got it in the bag and are already buying books to get a head start. Just wait until you come back from a semester abroad, turn 21 and lose all work ethic as soon as you thought you had school down to a science.
Football: I don’t care if you don’t know the difference between a quarterback and a linebacker, Notre Dame football will be your life every fall whether you like it or not. In this case, “football” includes all game weekend traditions, namely Friday 40s at 4 and tailgates. Do all the tame, touristy stuff the first time your parents come to a game, then bring them to all those mythical parking lot ragers.
General wisdom: Work hard, play hard. Nickname freshman acquaintances so you can finally connect names with faces in your senior class yearbook. Enjoy 2 a.m. Reckers while it’s a thing. Make friends with the best people you will ever meet, not the worst. Learn to love Finny’s despite its ability to burn massive holes in your wallet while also erasing your dignity. And above all, love thee Notre Dame.

Contact Kristen Durbin at kdurbin@nd.edu
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.