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Last call for Saint Mary’s

Angela Saoud | Friday, May 13, 2005

Sometimes I wonder how many times I’ve driven down The Avenue. I can’t even begin to imagine how many miles I’ve walked at Saint Mary’s – to Madeleva, to Trumper, to the parking lots and then back to Holy Cross Hall. I’ve written paper after paper, survived eight grueling finals weeks and spent countless hours in the dining hall. I’ve lived in four rooms in Holy Cross, seen two student centers, had five different jobs and been in dozens of professors’ classes. And this weekend, all of that is going to come to an end.

And looking at the bigger picture, there is much more than just what we’ve seen on Saint Mary’s campus. We saw the attacks of Sept. 11 from our freshman year residence hall rooms and were immediately bonded together by it. We have had a reelection of a president, new presidents at both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame and the first new pope in our lifetimes. We have seen our classmates and friends adapt to college life, grow throughout it, and are now going to watch them set out into the real world.

But when we start to get all nostalgic about our Saint Mary’s experience (which for many of us will start on Monday), we can look back on our time here and be proud of what we have accomplished.

Because the truth is, for all of us who are afraid of the real world, we are already living it. We have balanced a full time job and a social life while managing to pull good grades and have fun. We have gone through some of the most rigorous courses of our lives, all in preparation for this impending real world none of us want to see come.

I too am in that position. I have loved my time at Saint Mary’s with all my heart, and it could be months before I realize I won’t be packing up my belongings to come back to campus in the fall. When did it happen? When did college go by so quickly? I don’t think I’ll ever have the answer.

We have the chance to go out and change the world. We have been given a stellar education, one that will open doors and allow us to truly make a difference in this world. And from the people I have encountered at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, I know each has the potential to do something wonderful with their lives, and even make someone else’s better in the process.

The friendships I have made at Saint Mary’s are some of the best and strongest I’ve ever encountered. And when I walk across the LeMans green on Saturday into my future, those friends will scatter across the country.

At some point throughout college, we have all been students, teachers, friends and counselors. We have left our imprints on the hearts and lives of others and we are better people because of this. Now, we have the chance to go out and change the world.

The saying goes, “Don’t cry because it’s over … but smile because it happened.”

This attitude is what will help us to survive beyond college. Yes, of course it’s sad that our undergraduate careers are over. But the memories and experiences we have are going to stay with us forever.

We will always have our memories.

Angela Saoud is a graduate with an English Writing major and a Secondary Education minor who wants to be the best teacher South Bend has ever seen. She could not possibly love Saint Mary’s more. Additionally, she’d like to thank her family and friends for all the love, support and kindness they have given her. And a special thanks goes out to her fellow student teachers who pulled her through this last semester – she couldn’t have done it without you.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.