Notre Dame will always be my home
Suzanna Pratt | Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I come from one of “those” Notre Dame families. You know, the kind where at least 16 people have attended, participated in every activity under the sun and lived in nearly every dorm. In many ways, the Notre Dame family is the same thing as my actual family. My parents met here, my older brother lived in the dorm next to mine for two years, countless aunts and uncles and cousins are Notre Dame graduates and I inherited my grandmother’s class ring.
Some of my earliest memories are of Notre Dame. I remember walking around the lakes to visit the site of my father’s old dorm, finding the windows of the rooms my mother lived in and lighting candles at the Grotto. I remember sitting in the stadium before it was renovated and playing with my Polly Pocket toy instead of paying attention to the football game below me. I remember crying about spilling my apple juice in the stands. Two decades, later, football still makes me cry, but so does the thought of leaving the place that gave me so many opportunities.
I found The Observer my first weekend on campus when I didn’t know a thing about photography. Over four years, my job took me from a private tour of the tunnels to an awards ceremony on the 14th floor of the Hesburgh Library and from Dublin to Miami. I declared an anthropology major and discovered a passion for archaeology, literally getting my hands dirty on an excavation in Albania. I devised an independent research project and slaved away all year producing a senior thesis longer than every other term paper I have ever written combined. I studied abroad and fell in love with rock art and quokkas and watching the moon rise.
I get chills walking around campus at night, not because the sound of the Basilica bells playing the alma mater to a silent quad is chilling in and of itself, but because this campus is where I feel at home and where the best experiences of my life have taken place. As seniors, the only thing we want to do is rewind four years so we can live through our time as undergraduates again. Of all the things I’ve learned in four years about anthropology, about life, about myself and about others, the most important thing I’ve learned is Notre Dame will forever be the place I call home. No matter where the future takes me, I can always look down at my class ring and see the golden dome. In our hearts forever, love thee, Notre Dame.
Suzanna Pratt is graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Peace Studies and will be pursuing a master’s in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida next year. She would like to thank her family for putting up with her. Suzanna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.