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Thank you, Saint Mary’s

| Friday, May 15, 2015

I’ll admit, it took me a while to appreciate the “all-women’s school” eccentricities, which first appeared to me mostly as foibles. Everyone always talked about the “sisterhood” and the value of being a “Belle,” though I saw these things as abstractions for much of my first two years as an undergraduate. But sometime in the mix, I developed a deep and unexpected passion for Saint Mary’s, and as I reflect back on these four years, I can only attribute my bond to the College to the people who revealed its value and inspired the person I’ve become. As they say, it’s always the people who make the place, and since I’m a fan of lists, I want to dedicate my last column to all those who I will forever appreciate and who made my four years the best possible:

To the friends who became my sisters — our maps would never have crossed if it weren’t for this place, as we hail from distances as far-reaching as New Jersey and Los Angeles. But now, we share the Avenue, which will always lead us home, and I couldn’t be happier to have shared this road with you.

To the professors in the English department who became my mentors and scholarly family — you all have inspired me more than words, in all of their power and beauty, can describe. If I grow to be half the professor any of you are, I know I’ll be doing just fine.

To my Rome girls — there’s nothing like experiencing la città eterna with new friends by your side, and I wouldn’t have wanted to share cappuccinos, cornettos, God Squad and Scholars with anyone else.

To the Observer staff, and especially my Saint Mary’s editorship predecessor Kaitlyn Rabach and successor Haleigh Ehmsen — journalism will simply never be the same, and I’m eternally grateful for the dedication and organized chaos that harmonized in our South Dining Hall dungeon.

To the Sorin Otters of 823 Notre Dame Ave. — thank you for being great friends and even greater representations of what it is to be Notre Dame gentlemen; I’m already looking forward to seeing you all again for reunion tailgates and endless jokes.

To my parents — you have always been my biggest fans and sent me all the support (and care packages) I could ever wish for, and I love that you love Saint Mary’s as much as I do.

And lastly, to everyone else that made this place so meaningful in big or small ways: my favorite cabbie, Ollie; all of the wonderful librarians; the Queens Court girls; the staff and contributors for Chimes, our literary journal; Gwen O’Brien, our director of media relations; and Fr. John Pearson and Regina Wilson in campus ministry.

It’s been a wild, sometimes stressful, busy, fulfilling and, all in all, fun four years, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s been there through it all. Being a Belle would mean nothing without all of you.

Kelly Konya is graduating with a degree in English literature and writing. She’ll continue to feed her love for poetry, fish & chips and the “craic” while studying at Trinity College Dublin next year. Any and all care packages of ramen or peanut butter are appreciated. If you want to visit, be pen pals or chat books, e-mail Kelly at kmkonya01@gmail.com

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About Kelly Konya

Kelly Konya is an English major bred on Catcher in the Rye and Roman cornettos.

Contact Kelly