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viewpoint

An ode to four years under the Dome

| Friday, April 17, 2020

As a frequent reader of The Observer during my time working at ND Listens, I’ve noticed that it’s usually around this time of year when a senior writes some sort of reflection piece. I figured I’d take the baton this time around. The sad part is that doing this requires me to finally own that graduation really is on the horizon and to do something I’ve been avoiding all year: getting nostalgic.

Over these last four years, Notre Dame has changed me in an immeasurable amount of ways. I’ve been privileged to meet some amazing people, whether it be professors, in Knott Hall, at ND Listens, through my classes or at Spikeball Club. It’s actually crazy to think about how much your “random” dorm assignment shapes so much of your Notre Dame experience, but I digress. I’ve been challenged academically in ways that I never have before (shoutout Mendoza Curve). Even in athletics, from sports that are considered more competitive such as basketball to those not typically as competitive like table tennis and Spikeball, the talent and abilities of people here are off the charts. I’ve been incredibly humbled by the people I’ve interacted with, the rigor of the courses and the intense level of competition in any sport here, amongst other things. There’s always somebody better than you at anything here, and that has been so eye-opening to me.

I truly am grateful for all the experiences and memories that I’ve made here. Notre Dame has introduced me to friends that I’ve visited in states all over the country: California, Michigan, Nebraska, New York and Texas. Many of those same friends even came to visit me in New Jersey. Notre Dame has taken me to a Frozen Four in Chicago and a College Football Playoff in Dallas. Notre Dame has taken me to West Virginia on an Appalachia service seminar. Oh, the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been.

I guess all of this is to say that on the one hand, I’m just a senior trying to turn a blind eye to my impending (online) graduation, but on the other hand, I’m trying to appreciate what I have before it’s gone. I even went as far as making a “Notre Dame Bucket List” of things to do on campus and in the South Bend area to take full advantage of everything this place has to offer. I’ve traversed the raging rapids of the East Race Waterway, witnessed the South Bend Cubs win the Midwest League Championship, skated at Howard Park and explored many of the local eats. I wouldn’t trade the memories or experiences I’ve made here for anything. Through it all, the most important thing I’ve realized is that while we will all soon be leaving this place and the fundamental nature of the relationships I’ve formed will never be the same, it is those experiences that I share with the people I’ve befriended that will stay with me and forever keep me connected to them. Even though senior year will not end on our terms with the many cherished “lasts” of events, we’ll just have to make a new home together away from the Dome.

 Daniel Feliciano

senior

Apr. 6

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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