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Freshman spotlights ND community on blog

JACK ROONEY | Wednesday, December 4, 2013

 

Every person at Notre Dame has his or her own story, and one freshman is trying to tell as many of them as possible on her new blog. 

Freshman Laura Gruszka lives in Cavanaugh Hall and operates the recently established blog, “I Am Notre Dame.” Gruszka officially launched the blog on Nov. 21 and said the page already has over 4,000 views, more than she ever imagined. 

The blog seeks to tell the story of people within the Notre Dame community, whether the subject is a student, faculty member, fan or has some other connection to the University, no matter how small. 

The blog’s “Our Goal” section says, “Notre Dame is more than just a campus. More than just a college. More than just a university. People who pass through campus even once (or never have the chance) find themselves irrevocably entwined into the ‘Notre Dame family,’ a community of people that spans generations, continents, genders, orientations, creeds and colors.”

Gruszka said she was inspired by a similar blog, “Humans of New York,” which features short posts about people in New York City with accompanying pictures. 

“I saw the blog Humans of New York and I was fascinated. Seeing that made me realize there was more to the world than my own little bubble,” Gruszka said. “And when I came [to Notre Dame] I realized how connected everyone is and how special this place is.”

Gruszka, who is originally from Valparaiso, Ind., said she does not restrict the blog to students and faculty of Notre Dame. 

“It’s not limited to just the students. Even the people of South Bend who aren’t a part of the University are still affected by it and have a story,” Gruszka said. 

Gruszka plays percussion for the Notre Dame band and said her friends in the band opened her eyes to the diversity of the University.

“There’s more diversity here than there was at my high school, and meeting all the people on drum line made me realize just how special Notre Dame is,” Gruszka said.

Gruszka said she will interview “basically anyone” for the blog, but she needs to be brave enough to approach someone she thinks is interesting.

Gruszka said people have been “crazy willing” to talk to her for the blog.

“That’s just the Notre Dame family, I guess. When I ask people if they have a minute to talk, they always say ‘yeah,'” Gruszka said. 

Gruszka said she is grateful for the support and encouragement she has received from friends and strangers alike.

“I am so humbled and grateful that I just don’t know what to say,” Gruszka said. “Everyone has just been very supportive.”

Gruska said she plans to keep the blog active throughout her time at Notre Dame, but does not yet know what she will do if the blog is still fruitful at the end of her senior year.

“I though it would be cool to keep it running through my four years as a testament to my time at Notre Dame,” Gruszka said. “If it lasts until senior year, I’ll figure out what to do with it then.”

Gruszka said she tries to keep herself out of the blog and simply let people tell their own stories. 

“It’s not about me. I want it to be about the people of Notre Dame and I am the vehicle for them,” Guszka said. “I try to keep myself out of it as much as possible.” 

Contact Jack Rooney at jrooney1@nd.edu