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Time to make friends

| Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Last night, the hallowed 2B section of Pangborn Hall gathered, like all on-campus Notre Dame students do every year, to go over the hall and University community standards and discuss what is expected of us as residents and students.

While I, as an RA, was excited to share with my section the new additions to duLac and beam with pride when they told me they approved of my snack selection (we have high standards in Pangborn), I was most excited to get to know the new faces I had only seen around the hall a couple of times so far and to catch up with the friends I have already known for a few years.

The start of every school year holds a bounty of magical moments like these, when we can create new friendships and strengthen those we already have. Of course this is true for all of the freshmen, many of whom first walk these sacred grounds at the start of Welcome Weekend without knowing more than one or two fellow freshmen.

However, it is also true for the rest of us, no matter what class. And I might be a senior already trying to leave my home here at Notre Dame without regrets, but now the time is ripe to build those types of lasting friendships.

For sophomores, you may already have friends from your freshman year, but there are still so many more people you do not know, both younger and older than you. Start a conversation during the first few days of class with the person next to you, and then actually talk to them after the first week. We are all guilty of making those first-day friends and then pretending like we do not see each other by the time the semester ends. Get to know that person (or people, if you’re really adventurous) and add another friend to wave hello to on the quad.

Junior year is naturally a good time to make friends, whether you are going abroad or staying in South Bend. If you are abroad, it is in your best interest to get to know more people because you will be living with them in a foreign country for an entire semester. And if you are on campus, there is a good chance you will not see some of your best friends for a while, so use this time to get to know other people better or to build further upon the other friendships you already have.

Lastly are my fellow seniors. Yes, we only have two more semesters at Notre Dame (I think I just teared up a bit), but the time is as good as ever to take advantage of the moments we do have left to create friendships that could last for the rest of our lives. So introduce yourself to the person you bumped into at Finni’s (whether they can hear you or not is another question) and take a minute to chat with your neighbor before your professor starts his or her lecture. These new acquaintances might not end up being your lifelong BFFs, but at least you will have tried — and might leave with another LinkedIn connection for postgrad networking.

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

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About Mary Green

Current Assistant Managing Editor, former Sports Editor of The Observer | Follow Mary on Twitter: @maryegreen15

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