The things I’ll remember
Matt Miklavic | Thursday, October 10, 2013
“You’re almost halfway done with the semester, then you’re abroad, then you’re a senior.”
When my little sister said this to me over the phone a few weeks ago, she probably didn’t think anything of it. She probably didn’t realize it stopped me cold and made me check the calendar a few times to confirm she was right. She didn’t know that it gave me that same queasy feeling I got the time my sisters left a bottle of Nair where the shampoo usually was and I realized it mid-lather. She didn’t realize it made me feel ridiculously old all of a sudden, and the fact that she just turned 18 on Wednesday (Happy birthday Katie!) didn’t help me feel any younger.
I’m agonizingly aware that the length of my time in college only grows shorter every time I cross another week off the calendar. I realize I’m getting closer to graduation as I watch the same people I once partied with now roam the halls as RAs, exterminating the wicked evils of loud music and ping pong balls that threaten the sanctity of Notre Dame and eliminating alcohol with the same ruthless efficiency with which Congress runs the country. In reflecting on the diminishing time I have left here, however, I also think of the two plus years had at Notre Dame. And there stands a mountain of memories.
I’ll remember meeting my section and the countless tales and adventures since that have made them some of the best friends I could ever find. I’ll remember the first weekend of freshman year as we were formally ‘welcomed’ to the section by the upperclassmen. I’ll remember watching one of those same freshmen shatter his elbow while hypnotized. I’ll remember Catalina Wine Mixers, ReggaeTom, and every other crazy tradition we created. I don’t remember a night or two all that clearly, although my friends assured me I had a great time.
I’ll remember the USF fiasco, the Stanford goal line stand, and an incredible trip to the national championship. I’ll remember the struggles and triumphs that professors call tests, late night chats that lasted until morning, and nights full of ridiculousness. I’ll remember that time a bunch of my business friends and I decided to show up to a biology lecture halfway through. I’ll remember how we thought it’d be a great idea to raise our hand during it.
I won’t remember what I said in a particular discussion section I spent way too much time preparing for, nor can I recall how a random reading check I worried about went in freshman theology. While there’s a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, I should mention that you’ll probably remember your GPA. And if you don’t, the torrent of job and internship applications that awaits will more than gladly remind you. It’s worth working hard. But don’t let it consume you. Learn when to push on and when to enjoy life here. There will come a point during some of those late nights when you have to say, in the words of one junior, “You know what? I’m done. We’re all getting degrees. And with that, I’m going to bed.” And with that, enough about the real world and serious stuff.
I’ll remember staying up way too late trying to think of mediocre jokes to put in columns. I’ll remember late night runs to Steak n’ Shake, fitting nine people in a car and its trunk and having one of them jump out at the stoplight on Douglas Road. I’ll remember teachers that cared, a 9/11 memorial that moved, and classes that inspired. I wish I could tell you I remember learning a lesson or two about time management, but I’m writing this at 4:30 A.M. amidst tweets featuring “#NoShameNovember” and no less than three YouTube videos of flash mobs. Apparently, I haven’t much time management wisdom to share.
I’ll keep the memories of far too many great moments and people to ever completely list in a 600-900 word column. I’ll keep the friends I’ve made, an indebtedness to Notre Dame for the two unbelievable years I’ve had and the many more that have yet to come.
Like thousands of seniors, the end of high school brought with it the selection of a yearbook quote. Originally, I went with the sage advice of Maine’s finest – “license and registration please” – before it was ‘suggested’ I find a different quote. I finally settled on something to the extent of living with no regrets. In retrospect, I can honestly say that in the time I’ve had here none come to mind. I’ll remember the challenges faced, the successes won, and the memories of a lifetime. Conclusively, I’ll remember a combination of fun, friends and opportunity and I can never imagine topping beyond Notre Dame. These, ultimately, are the things I will remember.
Matt Miklavic is a junior studying finance and political science from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He hopes to one day have his own Wikipedia page. He 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.