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Constructive relaxation

The Editorial Board | Thursday, November 14, 2013

Friday night is rapidly approaching, and you don’t know what to do. Well, what are your options? You can sit in the luminescent glow of your laptop as you stream movies on Netflix, or you can get up, head outside to brave the cold and experience some of the most accessible artistic experiences you can see.

One of the many privileges of attending a top-20 university is that we can enjoy numerous outlets for constructive relaxation. During the past week alone, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses buzzed with entertaining events, thought-provoking lectures and performances by fellow classmates and touring professionals.

We had the opportunity to laugh along with comedian Nasim Pedrad from Saturday Night Live, cheer on Baraka Bouts participants as they fought in their 11th season, attend a performance by our peers in “Radium Girls” and listen to the perfect musical balance of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra – that is, if we took advantage of them.

On-campus events enable us to experience wonderful artistic and recreational opportunities at a cost that is virtually nothing compared to the price tags we will face after we graduate. Most events here, if they aren’t outright free, run somewhere between $5 and $10. Try to see a show on Broadway or a concert in Chicago and you can expect to pay at least five to 10 times as much as that. We’re even invited to take a seat at dress rehearsals for no cost at all and to discuss award-winning films with their directors in both the stunning DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and the Moreau Center for the Arts. We can also try out new recipes at cooking classes taught by Notre Dame’s chefs.

“Cabaret” is the first full-scale musical the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at Notre Dame has produced in more than 20 years. This performance, rated as mature content, showcases the talents of more than 100 student members of the cast, crew and orchestra and is running through Sunday in DPAC. Just on the other side of campus, Notre Dame students will make history this weekend at Washington Hall by performing the first English translation and international production of “The Connemara Five.” AcoustiCafé even takes on a special flair this week, as one of the bands performing will be chosen to open for Eric Hutchinson at Legends on Saturday.

But even with a bye weekend approaching, will we be motivated to venture out to a new event?
Being aware of the happenings on campus will help you to find an event that interests you. The institutions provide a daily schedule of selected events, lectures and performances online at calendar.nd.edu and http://www.saintmarys.edu/news-events. The SAO website, sao.nd.edu, has a calendar that includes every SAO-sponsored event on campus. SUB keeps an active twitter (@SubND) and Facebook page for its events. The Observer’s “The Next Five Days” calendar, featured on page two of each paper and “Weekend Calendar,” featured in Scene on Thursdays, both highlight some top events occurring that week. Also, The Week@ND newsletter provides information about various events on campus.

Before the stress of finals fully hits us, we should take advantage of the time and resources we have, while we have them. Push your boundaries and challenge yourself to live out the “liberal arts” education in your daily life. College is a time to explore our interests and taking advantage of the low-cost opportunities our University offers is certainly well-worth braving the cold walk across campus.