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Staying home: the silver lining

| Thursday, December 11, 2014

For the better part of a year, I sat on the wait list for the London Study Abroad Program. Having applied last spring, I still clung to a minute amount of hope that maybe, just maybe, Jimmy in Keenan Hall would get cold feet about flying and make way for my world traveling itinerary. However, this past fall I received an email thanking me for my patience, but regretfully informing me that there was still not enough space for me in the program.

Was I a bit disappointed at first? Of course. Although I had already pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my feet would remain planted on domestic soil for the year, it was still a bit of a disappointment to actually see it in writing.

However, as my globetrotting friends are preparing both to leave the country and return from abroad, I’ve realized that I should be counting my blessings rather than getting hung up on my study abroad status.

Almost every person I know who is studying abroad, while they are of course excited to be traveling, has acknowledged the fact that they’ll be missing being on the Notre Dame campus.

Sure, South Bend might not have mouth-watering pizza or a leaning tower, but there’s something magical about the fact that we can somehow love dining hall mac & cheese and a golden dome just as much.

I might not be heading to foreign locations every weekend, but I will get to live on one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country, surrounded by many of my friends that I would not be able to see otherwise.

Sure, I might not be able to go out and hit the clubs with Ed Sheeran in London, but I can hang out with Taylor Swift at an FTT department production.

I might not get to see Buckingham palace, but the view of God Quad out the window is just as beautiful. Notre Dame, although it may not be exotic, is just as much a destination as anywhere else.

We are lucky to be recipients of the Notre Dame experience, whether it be here in the US or off in a foreign land. Your college experience can be just as magical even if you don’t leave the country.

Good luck, and safe travels, friends. No matter where you end up traveling, all of us can’t wait to welcome you back to this home away from home.

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