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A new, welcome introduction

| Friday, May 16, 2014

“Hi, my name is Steph Wulz and I am a senior Visual Communication Design BFA from Ramsey, New Jersey.”

A Notre Dame introduction is one thing that every student quickly becomes well versed in within the first week of college. It is line that identified who you were, where you were from and what your studies were along your unique college journey.

Every time I think about my introduction, it makes me think about the variations on my introduction that greatly shaped my four-year journey.

The word “transfer” used to dominate the sentence when I first arrived to campus as a sophomore. Having spent my first year at Villanova University, transferring played a large part in shaping my experience and identity at Notre Dame. I’ve had the opportunity to share in the cultures of two different schools and learn to appreciate all that my soon-to-be alma mater has done for my fellow students and myself. With that, I gained a network of friends who became an immediate family, all who carried out their dream to attend this University.

And since we had made it here, we knew to make the most of it.

My college switch fell out of my introduction because I lost the feeling of having to include it. Notre Dame is a place that became home so quickly. I no longer felt like a new student, nor needed to share that I hadn’t experienced Frosh-o and the Dome Dance like many students around me.

My past was what got me here and what allowed me to branch out and absorb all the opportunities that one could. Whether spending two years with the Band of the Fighting Irish or spending my nights working as the Graphics Editor of The Observer, I lived to make my mark on Notre Dame. And she gave me the opportunity to do so.

During my senior year, my introduction included that I was a resident assistant in Walsh Hall, a position that I would do again in a heartbeat. There are few positions where you are given the unique opportunity to be a foundation in people’s lives and a resident’s assistant was one such position. Having the chance to give my advice from my college path throughout the years allowed me to realize the choices I had made and how they brought me to this very moment.

Now that my time at Notre Dame has come to an end, my introduction changes into the past tense. Finally, it seems to capture the entirety of my experience through college.

Saying I am a graduate of Notre Dame holds the understanding that I have experienced one of the most memorable and life changing events in one’s young life in a setting that strives to make everyone live up to their full potential. I have studied, learned, traveled, prayed and laughed with thousands of people who have directly impacted my life. I have met others and learned their story while sharing mine along the way. And because of all of this, I am a better person.

I cannot help but smile endlessly when graduating with my friends and family beside me. I cannot help but be glad for the opportunity that God has given me to be accepted here after a lot of hard work. And I cannot help but be so happy to introduce myself as a graduate of Our Lady’s University, in a few days and for the rest of my life.

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

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