Nothing gold can stay
Kitty Baker | Wednesday, April 20, 2016
This is my last Viewpoint. “Pride and Prejudice” ended on Sunday, my final theatrical performance at Notre Dame. I finished my senior Program of Liberal Studies thesis about the Orpheus myth back in February. My time at the University of Notre Dame seems to be officially coming to an end.
It’s official. I’m going to cry at graduation.
In a way, it’s a beautiful thing that I am going to miss this place so much. Notre Dame has been my home for four years. It was hard to say goodbye to my parents when I left home to come here, and now it’s going to be dreadfully hard to take my leave of this place. I suppose I want to use my last Viewpoint to reflect on what I’ve done here.
I’d like to say I’m going to leave a legacy here. But the funny and wonderful thing about college is that in the next four years, I am going to become obsolete here. In the next four years will come another group of college students who have no idea who I am, whom I didn’t reach through the stage or through my writing (Yes, I am making myself seem bigger than I am; I’m not even sure my roommates read my column anymore).
But as I walk around campus and I look at the golden dome, I realize that it is less about what I have done for the University, and more about what the University has done for me. If any of you hate sappiness, I would suggest you stop reading now.
As I walked around campus on Sunday, I went to see all of my favorite spots.
Cavanaugh Hall was my home for three years. Section 2B — Tall Megan, Bianca, Emma, Little Megan, Christina, Jessica, Melanie, Miranda, Annika, Hannah, my roommates Shannon and Madison — will always be my first memories of Notre Dame. They are the main reason I stayed at this school (although if they hadn’t been into my One Direction obsession, it might have been a different story). There was the night we decorated our entire section in Harry Potter colors, because we are giant nerds who were thrilled about the Triwizard Tournament-themed section competition. There was the night my roommates and I named our fan Mandrake because of the weird noises it was making, only to discover that it was actually the furnace (actually, we always named one of our terrible appliances). These are stories I bring up time and time again. Room 252, otherwise known as the Room of Requirement, was a place where I could always find comfort and support (as well as some well-aimed snark), and for that, Madison and Shannon, I will be forever grateful.
O’Shaughnessy. I can’t say I love that building, but the people inside it, specifically in the rooms of 214 and 210, have been some of my favorites. I remember the day I sat across from a girl with curly hair, and thought she was way too cool to hang out with me. Now that girl is one of my closest friends, and I thank God I have had Betsy in every seminar throughout my four years here. The entire PLS community reminds me every day what having terrific, smart and amazingly talented people surrounding you can really do for your self-esteem. Every day in class I constantly marvel at the excellence that exists there, and I want to thank every single one of them for putting up with my attempts at witty one-liners. The professors in PLS have pushed me beyond what I thought was possible, and they have shaped me for the better, although sometimes they wish I’d just shut up. I might even miss O’Shag, or at least the posters on the wall.
DPAC has taken so many hours of my life away, but they have all been so worth it. DPAC has probably generated the most growth out of me, as I went from someone who did acting for fun to someone who is pursuing it as her career for the rest of her life. The plays, and the casts, who have put up with my weirdness, my obsessive compulsive behavior and my constant singing, have been some of my best memories. Especially the cast of “Pride and Prejudice,” you have made my last semester on the Decio mainstage one that I will always remember. I love you all to the moon and back.
And as I stopped at the lakes, the Grotto, and the dome, I remember the times that aren’t tied to any particular building. My friends from my semester abroad in London — Liz, Claire, Sarah — are the ones who stood by me at my worst and my best. I am so lucky to have met you and I’m glad that we now have all our memories here at Notre Dame (especially late night Finni’s). Then there are the memories with the random people who lifted me in the air during football games, the alumni who gave me free food at tailgates, the prospies this weekend who reminded me how innocent we all are as freshman. I owe them all a little bit of my experience, an experience any alumna of Notre Dame has. They welcomed me with open arms, and I now hope I can do the same to all who follow.
I’m officially a part of the cult. Thank you, Notre Dame. Love thee. xx
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.