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To the class of 2013

Laura Coletti | Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On the evening of Aug. 23, 2009, I sat beneath the arches of my new home, Howard Hall. I spoke into my cell phone to my best friend from home. “I already love it here,” I said.
Three years, eight months and one week later, I smile when I think about my 18-year-old self. She had no idea how much that love would grow.
Today, I and roughly 2100 other undergraduate students are watching the days, hours and seconds of our time at Notre Dame tick to a close. It’s the time of year for celebration, reflection and contemplation. It is also a time of year to give thanks to families, professors and others who have helped to shape our lives over the last four years.
I think a lot of times, one important group goes overlooked during the thank yous. My mom always taught me to handwrite my thank you notes, but since I cannot possibly pen hundreds of cards over the next two and a half weeks, I’m using the last Inside Column of my Observer career to thank my peers in Notre Dame’s class of 2013.  
Lots of things define a college career. Academic success, athletic endeavors, internships, study abroad programs, volunteer efforts and scholarly accomplishments are all vital to an enriching college experience.
Here’s the thing, though. We all could have done those things somewhere else.
But we didn’t. We did them here and we did them with each other. To me, that is what really sets apart the Notre Dame experience – the incredible, wonderful people we encounter every single day on this campus.
I am a big believer in everything happening for a reason, and I think all of us who will be graduating on May 19th were thrown together four years ago for a reason greater than merely choosing Notre Dame. We all had a lot to learn from each other. We shared in each other’s highs and lows, made mistakes and memories together, loved, hated, fought, laughed, cried, ate, slept, studied, failed and succeeded together. Starting in two and a half weeks, we’re going to be seeing a lot less of each other. Make sure to take the time to let those who are important know how much they matter to you.
In May 2010, I sat in my home, Howard Hall, on the phone with that same friend. “What if someday it loses its magic?” I asked.
Thank you, classmates, for keeping the magic alive. When we process into the stadium three Sundays from now, take a moment to look around. Those who are responsible for your first 18 years of life will be in the stands. But those who are responsible for your last four years will be seated all around you. Sure, you’ll miss the football games, you’ll miss the parties, you’ll miss the campus events and you’ll probably even miss class. But none of that would have meant anything without the people you did it all with. So appreciate them, enjoy the last few moments with them and don’t forget to thank them.

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