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Keep your fork’

Andrea Archer | Friday, May 14, 2010

When I finished up my last day at work a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had successfully avoided writing a single article here — apparently not. I would have much rather submitted a graphic detailing my favorite campus eateries (Greenfield’s, Reckers, Decio Commons, and Café de Grásta, in that order) instead of writing a senior column, but that wasn’t an option.
I will begin by wishing my fellow classmates a happy graduation. I won’t actually be there. During Commencement Weekend I will be rowing with my teammates in Oakridge, Tenn., competing for a top finish at Regionals. I happen to be one of those seniors absolutely dreading graduation, so it really helps that I don’t have to go. (Don’t worry, I will be graduating the next day.)
I guess I should be thankful that approaching graduation is so painful — it means that my time here was well spent. I can thank my best friends for that: the girls in Pasquerilla West and my teammates. Our experiences together have shaped me throughout these four years. I finally realized though that when you ask your best friends to help you decide between studying and driving out to Ritters, they will always choose the less productive option. But go ahead and ask them anyway.
A priest once told me that he knew an old lady who wanted to be buried with a fork. Her reason: to remind her family and friends that after you finish your meal you need to hang on to your fork so you can be ready for when that fantastic dessert comes. Though it would be extreme to equate leaving Notre Dame to death, that woman understood that even when you can’t see past the end, you have to think that the next course will be even better.
So the lesson here is: keep your fork, the best is yet to come. (You might want to keep your spoon too, because North Dining Hall is known to hide them from time-to-time.)
We will never be allowed to relive our college experience, but soon we will be able to join the ranks of the thousands of alums who get to enjoy Notre Dame in a different way.
I’m still nervous for graduation, though. Especially because some of the amenities I enjoy here, I’ve been told, don’t exist in the “real world.” Flex points, for example. Unfortunately, when you start making money they expect you to use it to buy things, too. Also you may have to walk farther than 10 steps to get to a chapel for Sunday Mass. When you live on your own, no one will go around around ringing keys to tell you it’s 2 a.m.; you may have to use a clock. Take full advantage of these things now.
I’ve been trying to look on the bright side, though. Some of our favorite Notre Dame features do exist outside of the bubble, like buses that will pick you up right outside of bars, conveniently located Starbucks’ and, most importantly, other Notre Dame fans.
Thank goodness for Facebook albums; they will help me recall some of college’s greatest moments.
I’m going to miss this place. But I am definitely hanging onto my fork — because if the best is still yet to come, then boy is it going to be sa-weet.

Andrea Archer is graduating a day late with a degree in marketing and graphic design. She will return home to Connecticut to live with her parents until they say she can’t anymore, hunting for jobs in advertising. She would like to thank her friends, boyfriend and family for being so supportive while she was “whooshing ” around all the time.
Andrea encourages everyone to buy The Shirt 2010, because whoever designed it certainly did a fantastic job.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.