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viewpoint

Notre Dame football

| Thursday, October 4, 2018

You don’t need to stay until the end of football games. While the pressure to stay has been present throughout my career here at Notre Dame, it has never been as prevalent as it is now during my senior year football season. I’m not saying anyone is holding me hostage in the student section, but when every other friend has a wistful comment about how this is the last time you will ever be able to do this, it makes you hesitate.

They are right, after all. Senior year is the last time you will be able to cheer on old Notre Dame as a student, surrounded by all of your best friends.

Senior year is also the last time you will be able to leave a football game early to go do something you would rather do with all of your best friends. There is obviously free time after graduation, but a full-time career doesn’t leave as much room for fun but wasted days with friends, especially when everyone lives all around the country. My point is that all of this time spent is valuable, and will be fondly remembered — assuming you are doing what you want to do. If you are toughing out a rough game when you would rather be somewhere else, I don’t see why that would be a better memory than doing what you actually want.

This will probably come off as uncaring about Notre Dame and our football team to a lot of people. I in no way think that the student body as a whole should not care about being at the game to support our team. For most students, on most Saturdays, there isn’t anything much better than cheering on the team at home. However some people don’t love football, and sometimes people aren’t always in the mood to watch a full football game. That’s alright too.

The pressure to stay for the full game is just part of an overarching tendency for students to seek shared memories. Having these collective experiences is part of the Notre Dame life. It is fun, after all, to be able to have a lively conversation with an alumni based on the simple question, “What dorm were you in?” It is only a problem when students sacrifice their own enjoyment of their college years to hit some checkboxes.

So leave the game early. Or don’t. Just make sure you do what you want to do.

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