Today my little brother is visiting campus for the official Admissions Office information session and tour.
I will admit that I selfishly hope my little brother chooses, like I did, to go to Notre Dame. Having a sibling on campus will help keep my connection to the Golden Dome a little stronger after I graduate in a little over two weeks.
How I’ll deal with separation from campus and whether I’m even ready to graduate has been on my mind this week.
In a column last semester, I wrote that seniors were regularly being asked, “What are you doing after graduation?” That question is being avoided now, because if you don’t have plans at this point, the conversation quickly becomes an exchange of awkward pleasantries like “Oh, I’m sure something will work out,” and “Don’t worry about it.”
Instead, the new question du jour is: “Are you ready to graduate?”
My answer is “yes.”
I think most people expect the answer to be “no,” like I’m supposed to be afraid of the future or sad to leave my college years behind.
On the first point, fear of the future, I’m not. I’m ready for the next adventure. I’m ready to be done with the homework, ready to move out of the dorms, ready to break out of the campus bubble for good. I’m ready to move on and do something different. In fact, I don’t think I would enjoy a ninth semester or more at Notre Dame.
The second point, that I should be sad to leave my college years behind, is a little more complicated. I admit it will be hard to give up the closeness of good friends, the freedom a college student’s schedule provides, or the general adventure that college entails. Notre Dame has become my home in the last four years. And moving day is never particularly easy.
But the good news is that I’ll be able to keep, in some sense, my home under the Dome after graduation, even after I give up my single in Fisher Hall. Football games, reunions and strong friendships will all keep me from being alienated from Notre Dame. If nothing else, I know the phone center will keep on calling (they’ve already called me at least half a dozen times). All of this makes the separation a lot easier.
Additionally, if I can harass my younger brother into becoming a Domer (assuming Admissions lets him in — which they should, he’s far smarter than I am), I’ll have a great excuse to come back to campus even more often. I’d also really appreciate the insider reports on student life over the next few years.
So, Peter, do the right thing for your graduating brother and put Notre Dame at the top of your list.
Even if he doesn’t end up at Notre Dame, I am confident I can handle being an alumnus instead of a student. I am ready for the next step, and “yes,” I’m ready to graduate.