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Lessons from Bruce

Mel Flanagan | Friday, September 7, 2012

It’s the Friday before the first home football game, a day full of pep rallies, Irish music and general debauchery. And I’m going to Chicago.
At about 7 p.m. this evening, I will enter Wrigley Field for a concert by one of the most epic musicians in history, Bruce Springsteen. Am I bummed about missing the first football Friday? Nope. I can’t think of a better way to start football season and senior year than with some life lessons from Bruce.
When my high school valedictorian, a fellow Notre Dame senior, quoted Bruce in his commencement address, I realized the true power of Bruce’s lyrics: their lessons, their relatability, their insights.
With a repertoire of over 200 songs, Bruce has a song for every moment, for every situation, for everyone. Many songs are for us, Notre Dame seniors, as we delve further into our last year under the Golden Dome.
So, fellow seniors, here are a few words of wisdom from the legend himself, as applied to our final year at Notre Dame.
1. “If there’s a light up ahead well brother I don’t know / But I got this fever burnin’ in my soul / So let’s take the good time as they go / And I’ll meet you further on up the road.”
In “Further On (Up the Road)”, Bruce tells us to enjoy every minute we have left here. Even though we might not know what lies ahead of us, we’re all pretty psyched that it’s senior year. So let’s have a blast and let life take us where it will.
2. “I’m working on a dream / Though sometimes it feels so far away, I’m working on a dream / And how it will be mine someday.”
Contrary to what we may have hoped, senior year is not easy. We’re juggling the usual classes and extracurricular activities with the added stress of job searching, all while trying to maintain a social life. In “Working on a Dream”, Bruce acknowledges our struggles. He reminds us that if we keep putting in the effort, we’ll have that diploma in our hands before we know it.
3. “Now you can’t break the ties that bind / You can’t forsake the ties that bind.”
After graduation, we’re all going to separate. We’ll stay close with our best friends and stay friendly with some others, but most people will seem to have fallen off the face of the earth. In “The Ties That Bind”, Bruce lets us know that no matter where we go in life, regardless of whether or not we will see each other again, we’ll always be connected. To each other, and to Notre Dame.
So cheers to senior year, to the first home football game and to Bruce. Let’s live it up because, after all, this is our one last chance to make it real.


Contact Mel Flanagan at [email protected]
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.