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All in the family

Katie Kohler | Friday, August 24, 2007

My mother went to Saint Mary’s. My dad went to Notre Dame. I am a true legacy and I am proud of that. However, when I applied to Saint Mary’s, I did so with the intention of not going. I wanted to be different. I wanted to stay out east. I wanted to go to college with my friends. But I didn’t. I am here and it was the best decision I have ever made.

I did not send in my confirmation to Saint Mary’s until April 30. (It was due May 1.) Talk about cutting it close. I was going to Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. I had a friend going there, it was five hours away and it was a great school.

During the application process, I visited all the schools I applied to, except Saint Mary’s. I had seen it a million times, from every angle – or so I thought. It wasn’t until I visited over AnTostal weekend that I proved myself wrong. For the first time in my life, I saw South Bend in a new light. I saw what drew my mom, my seven aunts and my three cousins here. And now I saw that it drew me here too.

It’s so hard to explain how you “just know.” For everyone, it is different. Sometimes, you don’t know if it’s the right place for you until after you get there. It could be that first English class, the first football game, or the beloved DomerFest. For me, it was when I met Dr. Mooney, the College president, on my last visit to campus. Her enthusiasm about Saint Mary’s and her new position and her drive to make it an even better school made it something I wanted to be a part of.

As I prepare to enter my junior year, I am more excited than ever to do all the things that make Saint Mary’s special. I am excited to add to the memories. To stay up all night talking about nothing and eating EZ-Mac. To paint my body in the second row of a Notre Dame football game. To be part of a very special relationship between two schools. And to do exactly what I am doing now, addressing the student body through the newspaper.

My advice is this: College goes by way too fast. Have fun, but don’t forget to do your work. Stay involved and participate in what you love. You have four years to make something of yourself. And I have no doubt you will do just that as a Belle.

Katie Kohler is a junior political science and English major. 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.