Goodnight Lauren, what are you thankful for?
Diane Park | Friday, March 19, 2021
I am extremely culinarily challenged. So, unlike many of my peers who moved off campus for their last year of college, this was one of the driving factors that influenced my decision to stay on campus in Ryan Hall for the fourth consecutive year. There’s certainly pros and cons to living on campus; I love that I’ve been able to call this dorm community home from my first year of college to now, but people find it interesting to hear that — especially with COVID-19 — not only am I on campus, but that I also have a roommate.
My roommate Lauren is one of the kindest, considerate and faithful women I know, and my last year at Notre Dame would not be the same without her. We’ve never been roommates before, but we share an interesting roommate history. She was roommates with one of our friends, who was then roommates with another friend, who also lived with me — basically, we’ve all been roommates at one point in Ryan. And while the pandemic has made it difficult to stay on campus and share a space with someone, I am thankful for my particular experience and the companionship that we’ve been able to provide for each other this year.
Speaking of what we’re thankful for, one thing Lauren has suggested we do that I really appreciate is asking each other to share one thing we’re thankful for before heading to bed at night. Although we all know we’re living in such a different time and it’s challenging to be optimistic when there’s a lot of serious issues relevant today, our small roommate check-in has helped me remember and recognize all the good things in my life.
Some days it’s easier to name something I’m thankful for, and other days it takes me a few minutes to land on something as small as saying I’m thankful for being able to eat outside again. Other things on our list of gratitude have been having access to cars, family, friends and no matter how big or small it is, I am always reminded of how lucky I am to not only have the privilege of being able to name anything at all but also to have someone to share with and listen to.
This senior year and this last semester of being an undergraduate at Notre Dame is admittedly very different from what I could have ever envisioned. Neither I, nor any of my friends and peers, could have really expected our college journey to end in the middle of a global pandemic. Yet, while we have every right to mourn the loss of a “normal” senior year, I believe these daily affirmations have made a small but steady impact on my determination to make the most of my remaining time at school.
This will also be the last column I write for the Observer after a year as a graphic designer and two years as the Graphics Editor. I am so thankful for the productions I have been able to be a part of, the amazing team of designers and Editorial Board members I have worked with and the rest of the Observer community. And at the end of the day, I am thankful I have a friend to come home to, share my day with and receive encouragement from. One should be so lucky as to have a roommate like Lauren!
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.