College is what you make it
Courtney Becker | Friday, August 17, 2018
There aren’t any “right words” to offer this weekend.
New students arriving at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross this weekend are experiencing emotions ranging from excitement to frustration; from happiness to fear. It can all be quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s not a catch-all phrase anyone can offer to make the experience less intimidating for students and parents alike.
You’re are all going to have very different Welcome Weekend experiences, just as you’re all going to have very different four years at your chosen home. This weekend is just the beginning of all the incredible, and yes, not-so-incredible experiences to come over the course of your college career. I can pretty much guarantee not all those experiences will go according to whatever plan you might have mapped out in your mind right now, but you will all figure it out along the way. You may find that your passion lies in the College of Arts and Letters instead of the Mendoza College of Business, or vice versa.
Starting this weekend, there will be plenty of people and resources to help you with the process of getting the most out of your time at college. The students in the Welcome Weekend staff T-shirts are genuinely excited to meet you and help you unload your car. The hall staff members in each dorm arrived on campus two weeks ago for training in how best to meet your many and varied needs throughout the year. And no matter how far from home you are, your family members will always be there to lend an ear and offer support whenever you need it.
Three years ago, I arrived on Notre Dame’s campus nervous and exhausted after my parents and I drove all night through a thunderstorm that caused our flight to be cancelled. I said goodbye to them the next day, wishing I could come up with the words to thank them for everything they had done to get me to this place, figuratively and literally. Now, on the verge of my final year under the Dome, I know I continued and continue to depend on them throughout the rest of my college career.
I don’t have much to offer in the way of advice, but what little I do have is this: Your college experience is what you make of it, and you don’t have to do it all alone. Try not to let expectations get in the way of what you want to do, know that there is no set formula to follow and ask for help when you need it. Today, take a minute to enjoy the start of your journey and thank your parents for the role they played in where you are now and the one they will play in where you end up in four years.
Whether it is Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s or Holy Cross, welcome to your new home. I know everyone on The Observer is looking forward to serving you just about every class day over the next four years, and I hope many of you consider joining us in one role or another. Whatever it is you end up doing, though, do it because you love it.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.