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The good in bad days

Kelly Meehan | Friday, May 18, 2007

Remember that really bad day?

The day you thought you couldn’t cut it here.

The day you uttered the words, “I cannot wait to get out of this place.”

The day you yearned for a parietal-free, co-ed, homework-free world where winters didn’t last for six months.

Yeah, we have all been there. Do we want to admit it today? Never.

While anxiously preparing for the future, I anticipate that the echoes of your time here will ring in your ears when you least expect it.

Six months from now you might want to trade in your Lincoln Park abode to spend one night cramped up in your freshman year bunk bed – solely to relive the late night conversations exchanged with hall mate strangers who quickly became your second family.

In few years you might be taking a walk through Central Park on a crisp fall morning only to be reminded of towering trees that lined the Avenue, welcoming you to your home away from home.

And chances are you might not realize exactly what you will miss during this weekend, this month or maybe even this summer.

In fact, you will probably remember what you do not miss.

It will be a relief not to live in Hesburgh Library for nine hours on a Sunday, worry about finding a cute date to the dance or even finding a half-decent parking spot when you leave your apartment five minutes before class begins.

The funny thing about life is how immune you become to the simple beauty that is all around you.

I think there is part of you that will miss the sarcastic comments of the professor you love to hate, the quirky way your roommate left her coffee-stained mugs in the kitchen sink and maybe even the odd ham-sandwich like odor that fills the South Bend air without warning.

I doubt that seeing a nun stroll casually down the street or wearing pajamas in public will be common during the next phase of your life, and these idiosyncrasies are the little things that have made the past four years of your life so unforgettable.

You would not be receiving your diploma this weekend if you did not pull some all-nighters, spend hours pouring over text books that cost you over a grand and spend so much time with your professors that you call them by their first name.

But you also would not have been able to walk across the stage without spending lazy Sunday afternoons laying on the quad or dancing with your friends at Finney’s on Friday nights.

You have seen the good, the bad and the bizarre, but you have made it.

Friends at state schools, or even co-ed schools, might have questioned your choice to become a Belle, but the answer is something you cannot quite pinpoint.

So as the trees of the Avenue fly by our car windows on our final trip off Saint Mary’s campus, realize what we have learned is not limited by the boundaries of bad days.

In the past four years Kelly Meehan has dined in a Roman piazza, played a wicked game of volleyball in her backyard, climbed the Eiffel Tower and schmoozed in South Beach. She is graduating with a degree in communications and will be moving to New York City this summer but will never forget some of the best days in her life spent at Saint Mary’s and all the friends she has made along the way. She can be contacted at

[email protected]

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