Why Notre Dame?
Courtney Becker | Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Last week a familiar question came up in one of my classes: “Why Notre Dame?”
My classmates and I went around the room and shared our experiences of falling in love with this University and realizing it was the place for us. My answer was probably the quickest: My parents met working for the Observer at Notre Dame so I had grown up with it in my life and had known for as long as I can remember that for me there was only Notre Dame.
Since arriving here as a student, I’ve gained new commonalities and shared experiences to talk about with my parents. We compare dorm life then to dorm life now, trade stories about trudging through the snow during the winter and engage in a power struggle over directions when they visit campus. My older sister, a student at the University of Chicago, frequently gets frustrated with our constant Notre Dame discussions that only a current or former Domer can relate to.
Last weekend, when my parents visited for the Duke football game, they once again reminded me of this dynamic. My dad, a former editor-in-chief of the Observer, had me take him to check out the current office and talk to some of the editors, to whom he reminisced about the days when production involved light boards and typesetters. He then walked me over to LaFortune, where he showed me the site of the old Observer office from when he was editor-in-chief. It’s this kind of give and take between me and my parents that I appreciate as a part of the 20 percent of the class of 2019 that is made up by student legacies.
As I listened to my classmates’ stories of falling in love with Notre Dame, however, I wondered what it would be like to remember the moment that feeling of being at home on this campus first struck me, rather than knowing it was always there. I wonder how much fun it is for non-legacy students to proudly show their parents around campus and watch them grow to love this place in turn. While Notre Dame has certainly changed over the past thirty years, my college experiences aren’t exactly unique — particularly since one of the biggest parts of my life at Notre Dame, working for the Observer, is another form of me following in my parents’ footsteps.
When it comes down to it, though, I know there are positives and negatives of both sides of the coin. My going to the same University as my parents gives us a pretty special connection. Even though I don’t get to introduce them to my school, I know they are thrilled to have introduced me to theirs.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.