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The people in my bar

| Friday, May 17, 2019

One of my dad’s friends from his own days as a student at Notre Dame, someone who is like an uncle to me, told me during my freshman year that life — and college in particular — is about finding those people you would want with you in a bar. People you love, people you trust and people with whom you just enjoy spending time. After four years at Notre Dame, there’s a pretty diverse crowd in my bar.

Like a typical Arts and Letters student, I dreaded calculus class four years ago. As predicted, I struggled my way through that class and am sure I could not for the life of me earn a passing grade on the final exam today. But that calculus class is responsible for one of my closest Notre Dame friendships. Isabella had no idea what she was getting into when she walked down the hall to my room in Pasquerilla West, knocked on the door, told me she was pretty sure we were in the same calculus class and asked if I wanted to work on the homework assignment with her. She ended up helping me through just about every calculus assignment that semester. We were in the same section in PDub, so we were bound to get to know each other at some point, but thanks to calculus, that friendship was forged in fire. Now, we’re already planning during which weekends we’ll see each other this summer and beyond.

She’s not the only friend who I know will be in my life forever.

The others include friends I met in PDub, from the first week of school to the fall of my junior year to my time as an off-campus senior. My crowd of Purple Weasels continued to grow with people who love to laugh and pushed me out of my comfort zone as I tried new things. My RAs patiently dealt with me and talked with me when I passed them in the hallways, my roommates tolerated my absolutely absurd sleep schedule and my former rector, Sister MJ, always took an interest in my life, often being the first person to compliment my work in The Observer. I met new people while playing interhall football and at hall events like dances, allowing me to find a home on campus even as an off-campus senior.

And there is no describing the place The Observer will always have in my life. The consistent factor among all of my friends is their willingness to put up with me — my dry sense of humor, tendency to not stop talking, bad moods and all. This was no small task while I served as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. Calculus was nothing compared to the late nights and last-minute emergencies that made me an absolute delight to be around for a year, and I owe all those people who stuck by me and supported me through everything more gratitude than I could possibly express with words. Many of these people were right there beside me in the basement of South Dining Hall, being unhealthily obsessive about doing the same thing over and over again, five nights a week.

Running a paper also put a strain on my academic life, and I know that I would not be graduating this weekend if it weren’t for my truly stellar professors, people who not only made going to class exciting and interesting, but also offered me a tremendous amount of support every time I stumbled as a student. After so many times saying thank you to these professors, the words are starting to feel more than insufficient. From my Film, Television and Theatre major to the Gallivan program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy, I hope all the professors who had a hand in shaping me as a student and a person know how grateful I am for their impact on my life.

It has been no small blessing to get to know so many amazing people during my time at Notre Dame, ones who I know will remain family for years to come and others who might never know how much I appreciated their friendship, however big or small. I’m beyond happy with the crowd in my bar.


Courtney Becker is graduating with a degree in Film, Television and Theatre and a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. After leaving Notre Dame, she will be moving back to her hometown of New York City. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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

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About Courtney Becker

Courtney is a senior from New York City majoring in film, television and theater with a minor in journalism, who recently wrapped up her year as Editor-in-Chief. She is a former resident of Pasquerilla West Hall and a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Contact Courtney