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We have been blessed

Dee Tian | Sunday, February 5, 2012

Last Sunday, I walked out of the Senior Retreat with an overwhelming sense of pride for this great university we attend. The opportunity to reflect on my past three and a half years here, alongside my peers, filled me with a wonderful feeling of belonging and community that reminded me of many things that are so clear and obvious yet we often forget to appreciate.

First, we must all remember to be thankful. Always. Sure, it’s easy to be thankful when everything is going well, but we must also remember to be thankful when it’s not so easy to be. Too often do I take for granted the many blessings I have in my life. When it’s 3 a.m. and I have two papers due and two exams to study for the next day, it’s hard to be thankful for anything.

When you get in a fight with your significant other, and you’re obviously in the right, why should you be happy about anything? However, it’s in those moments it’s most important to remember you’re lucky to be here. Remaining grateful in times of trouble reveals our true character.

Second, we must continue to shine outside of Notre Dame. Many of us are concerned about our lives post-graduation. Whether we have jobs lined up or acceptances to graduate schools, the future is still very uncertain. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to leave this place, now … or ever. There truly is a magic in the sound of their name … we have been blessed to be Fighting Irish for the last four years. But it’s time to bring the magic of Notre Dame outside of South Bend.

It’s easy to be good and genuine in a loving, caring community. However, you can’t see light in light. In fact, light shines brightest in utter darkness. I think that’s what we have to keep in mind. In entering “the real world,” we must bring our light to places where it can really shine.

Third, we must remember to find God in others. It’s okay to not adore every single person you meet (i.e. that obnoxious guy in your philosophy class who uses words you’ve never heard of), but we must remember God created each of us in his image. None of us are perfect, but we all have loved ones, aspirations and fears. When you look at it like that, it’s quite difficult to really hate anyone (even your best friend’s ex who walks around like he owns the place).

Lastly, we must remember not to worry. In one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Jesus does not suggest, but commands us not to worry.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus says, “Do not worry … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I think we’re all guilty of this. We worry constantly — how will I get this absurd amount of work done, how am I going to do well on this impossible exam, is my friend upset with me because I was too forward, what will I do next year when I graduate? It’s impossible to not worry, but we must trust that God knows our anxieties and hopes and dreams, and that He has a plan for each of us. Once we make right our relationship with God, everything else will fall into place.

So whether you’re a senior or a freshman, whether there are four amazing months left of your college career or three and a half years (lucky tykes), remember how lucky you are to be here. Sure, there will be times when we will be stressed out, times that we wish we could fast forward to the weekend, times we choose to ignore the beauty of this campus around us. But these times will be grandly overshadowed by the love we’ve found (in this not so hopeless place).

Although we have bright futures ahead of us, for now, they can wait. In risk of sounding cliché, let’s treasure the moment, treasure our remaining time here, treasure our friends and treasure Notre Dame.

Dee Tian is a senior marketing major pursuing minors in philosophy and anthropology. She can be reached at [email protected]

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

necessarily those of The Observer.