The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Just friends

Allison D'Ambrosia | Friday, September 21, 2012

Second semester of my senior year in high school, I decided I would write down some of the things I most strongly believe in. I felt that my beliefs would be challenged in college and I needed intellectual responses of why I believed what I did.
One of the things I firmly believe in is that boys and girls can be friends – just friends. I do not think that during the friendship they cannot fall for one another, care very deeply for each other or realize that they should be together. I’m not denying that there is most often an addition feelings than “just friends.” Nonetheless, I think through self control and being circumspect, everyone is perfectly able to have a healthy friendship with a person of the opposite gender. Dave Matthew’s band sang: “A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other. Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong, maybe too late, or maybe forever”. Aristotle says in his Nicomachean Ethics, “It is, therefore, in the friendship of good men that feelings of affection and friendship exist in their highest and best form.” All that needs to exist is trust, affection, and good will in order for friendship thrive – regardless of gender.

At Saint Mary’s, there seems to be a problem with my theory; there are no men to befriend. However, there are quite a few just across the road. There is a sting stereotype that the Saint Mary’s girls are here for the Notre Dame boys to date and nothing else. Why would they waste their time befriending women so far away if it wasn’t going to go any further than being friends? They could walk 100 feet and befriend 100 girls in their sister dorm instead.
Despite the speck of truth that exists in the aforementioned stereotype, you may be asking, “Is that what the ND boys think?” Good question. Here is the answer from an ND boy himself:
“Dear parents, teachers, and guardians of the girls from across the lake: You have done an incredible job. Let me explain. My name is Jack, and I’m a current freshman at Notre Dame studying aerospace engineering. In the process of surviving Frosh-O, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the beautiful and talented girls from Saint Mary’s. Whether we see them on the quads, in the dining halls or even at some of our dorm Masses, they always bring a smile to our faces. They are the epitome of what it means to be a Catholic college student and they influence everyone around them in a positive way. So while we’re sure you miss your daughters, we can’t thank you enough for letting them become Saint Mary’s girls. Peace, love, Notre Dame.”
There you go – we (women) can be friends with the men down the drive. Smile, ladies.
Another thing I fully believe in is “Birthday Week.” I believe that people should have a whole week to celebrate their birthday. If you get to your birthday and you cannot find something to celebrate about your life and being one year older for seven days, you need to re-evaluate your life and realize how blessed you really are because, well, you made it one more year. So here’s to you Jack. Happy Birthday! Enjoy the whole week.