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Bleeding blue and gold from the start

Suzanna Pratt | Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It all started on July 7, 1991.

I don’t remember the exact time, but sometime that day, I graced the world with my presence. I was one of those privileged infants clad in gold and blue from birth and taught the words to the fight song before I learned to read.

I am a native Notre Dame fan. I was born into the tradition, and all my attempts to evade destiny during my rebellious high school years failed. Clearly.

I was doomed to be a Domer prior to birth. My maternal grandparents met as students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

My parents were, horror of clichéd horrors, set up at an SYR, initiating a beautiful romance that ultimately resulted in my brothers and me, one of whom will graduate from Notre Dame in a month. The other is 13 years old and likely fated to also attend this University.

I am the 15th person in my family to reside in the shadow of the dome. Thus it was only natural for me to grow up a Notre Dame fan.

I wore a Notre Dame sweatsuit to kindergarten.

I hummed the fight song to myself on the swings at recess.

I was an elementary age superfan.

Some of my earliest memories are from Notre Dame football weekends. I didn’t care about football until high school, so I spent football games playing with my Polly Pocket and spilling my apple juice on the benches of the original stadium.

I was a blissfully ignorant fan for most of my life: I didn’t know that other colleges existed for the first several years, and I certainly didn’t follow football until … I still don’t follow football.

Then the rebellious phase hit. I decided that under no circumstances would I follow the family tradition and attend Notre Dame.

I wanted to tempt destiny by attending a college more compatible with my tie-dyed, barefooted, polar-bear hugging, hippie personality (I became a Peace Studies major instead).

My parents put up with my defiance. I think they knew all along. After all, they were the ones who doomed my siblings and me to be Notre Dame students.

Fortunately, I got over my temporary anti-Notre Dame sentiment.

I feel the magic on this campus.

I feel the tradition.

Every walk around the lakes brings back memories of childhood visits.

The racquetball courts in the Rock give me chills because I remember seeing them when my age was somewhere in the single digits.

South Quad rouses nostalgia when I walk to class every single day.

I can’t not love it here.

I love Notre Dame.

I always have.

I always will.

I never had a choice.


The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Suzanna Pratt at [email protected]