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This is not the end

Allan Joseph | Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I’ve been dreading writing this column for a long time, because it seems like an impossible task. “How,” I’ve asked myself countless times, “could I ever hope to capture four years of Notre Dame in 500 to 600 words?”
The answer, of course, is that I can’t – because the last four years have been filled with experiences that simply defy description.
I’ll never forget embracing my classmates and proudly singing the Alma Mater after football games, whether in the pouring rain (Stanford, 2012), or glorious sun (Nevada, 2009). But how could words really capture what that’s like to those of us who were there?
I’ll always be stunned by how extraordinary the people I’ve met at Notre Dame have been. From my professors to my best friends, from administrators to classmates, I’m constantly impressed. Yet how could I ever fully describe this community to those of us who have been a part of it?
There will always be pictures of campus – the Grotto, the Dome, the Basilica, the Stadium. These places have shaped me and my classmates. But how could a picture fully represent the peace of the Grotto at night, the energy of North or South Quad on a sunny day or the way the Golden Dome gleams no matter the weather
Then again, maybe we don’t need to capture everything.
Maybe it’s enough to remember that football Saturdays showed us how tradition can be passed down to bind people together through the generations.
Maybe it’s enough to see a picture of the Grotto and remember there’s always time for a quiet moment or a picture of the Dome and remember that there’s always hope and beauty, no matter how dark or ugly a day we may be having.
No matter how hard we try, we’ll never be able to capture the spirit of Notre Dame. But the spirit of Notre Dame has captured us. After these four years, this place has made a mark on us in ways we don’t yet understand
Yes, we’ll always miss this place, but no, it isn’t the end, as much as it feels like it.
Perhaps what I was dreading wasn’t writing this column, but instead was the idea that in doing so, I’d be accepting that I was done with Notre Dame. But that’s not true, and it really shouldn’t be a surprise. Because on Sunday, when my classmates and I sing the Alma Mater one last time together, the final line will ring out and remind us that our hearts will – forever – love thee, Notre Dame.

Allan Joseph is graduating with a degree in economics and Arts & Letters Pre-Health Studies and will be attending medical school at Brown University in the fall. He’d like to warn his future classmates not to attempt speaking with him on fall Saturdays. Allan would like to thank too many people to fit in this space, but they know who they are. He can be reached at [email protected], as weird as that is to type.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.