The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



We love our attitude problem

Katie Perry | Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Just as recognizable – yet slightly less tangible – as the Golden Dome or Touchdown Jesus, the Notre Dame swagger is as much a part of the University as any its staple landmarks.

Although outsiders label Notre Dame students with such positive attributes as intelligent, talented, athletic and religious, they also believe Domers to be stereotypically cocky.

And they’re right.

Maybe cocky isn’t the most of flattering choice of terminology, but the idea is – for the most part – wholly accurate.

There’s a reason why we sport an excessive amount of apparel, adorn our cars with no less than three decals and integrate the words “ND,” “Irish,” and “Domer” into our screen names. That reason is simple. We go to an amazing school. We know it, and more notably, we show it.

Notre Dame is a unique college in many regards, but perhaps its most extraordinary characteristic is the student body’s unfettered adulation for their school.

Generally speaking, students not only like it here – they love it. For many of them, attending the University represents the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“I see you’ve joined the Notre Dame cult,” a friend told me this summer as she antagonistically gestured at my sweat pants, T- shirt, cap and sandals – all of which boasted some form of University emblem.

My immediate thought was a hasty remark I tactfully chose to keep to myself: “Clearly, you are just jealous.”

But no, that wasn’t (entirely) it. She, like other critics of the Notre Dame swagger, incorrectly mistook my adoration for arrogance.

Although we indeed are a confident bunch – any Domer will readily and unabashedly attest to Notre Dame’s greatness – we are also misunderstood.

That was it. She simply didn’t understand. After all, how could she? She doesn’t walk past a massive Golden Dome every day, nor does she become lost in a sea of green – or yellow for that matter – on football Saturdays. She can’t experience the ridiculousness that is Notre Dame on St. Patrick’s Day, nor can she buy a hot dog with a quarter she found lodged in the bottom of her book bag.

For these and the million and one other endearing idiosyncrasies of this glorious institution, we have a chip on our shoulder – and there is no shame in that.