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A guide to Notre Dame in Venn diagrams

| Wednesday, September 8, 2021

At the risk of sounding ever-so-slightly conceited, I think we all know there’s no shortage of people who want to learn about our great university. The swarm of visitors taking their first Touchdown Jesus pics (and, yes, that includes the opposing team) this Saturday will likely prove my point.

Notre Dame newbies have a plethora of sources to learn about all of the traditions, whether you’re a first-year flipping through du Lac or a football visitor soaking in the Eck Center’s list of top football traditions. With so many fresh faces on campus this time of year, I thought I’d offer a simpler, consolidated guide to campus life, told through a series of Venn diagrams.

My level of expertise regarding the Notre Dame experience is maybe only slightly above average. I’m a senior, I go to football games and I love the Midwest. However, I’m the first in my family to go to Notre Dame, I didn’t come home from the hospital in a green and gold onesie and I don’t know the weird legends about horsemen and stuff.

My level of expertise regarding Venn diagrams, though? World-class. I see all of life through a lens of overlapping circles, and I never hesitate to share these views via Snapchat, post-it notes or the whiteboard in my dorm room last year. My friends are likely sick of it, so the time has come to expand my audience to the wider tri-campus community.

Given the lack of visitors on campus last year, I’ll begin with a brief synopsis of life on a coronavirus campus:

  1. The Venn diagram of kids who got your class pizza party taken away in first grade and kids who got campus shut down for two weeks last year is nearly a perfect circle. They are one and the same.
  2. The circularity of COVID-19 symptoms and hangover symptoms, on the other hand, is much more difficult to ascertain. This is likely something every student questioned while filling out their Saturday morning Daily Health Check. For example, if you woke up with a headache, which exists in the overlap between COVID-19 symptoms and hangover symptoms, should you yellow pass yourself?
  3. The overlap in a Venn diagram of your assigned DART time and noon in the days preceding the campus shutdown contains your laptop’s refresh button and the words “heavy load.”

Next, on football:

  1. DeBartolo Hall on a weekday and Joyce Center on a game day overlap only to include excessively long bathroom lines.
  2. In a Venn diagram of the words “Catholic” and “cool,” the intersection will most certainly include Fr. Pete’s appearances in the Campus Ministry hype video.
  3. The Venn diagram of tailgate food (free, delicious, of a wide variety) and dining hall food (not those things) is really just two circles.
  4. There is an extreme level of overlap in a Venn diagram: The guy behind you in the stands who won’t stop yelling at the refs and the guy next to you in class who needs to play devil’s advocate on the daily.

Then, of course, on dorm life:

  1. The Venn diagram of hall council in Walsh Hall and hall council in Alumni Hall (rumored to possibly not exist?) is also just two circles.
  2. In a Venn diagram of “How to Break Parietals” and “How to Play the Quiet Game,” the intersection includes “Rule 1: Shhhh or you’re out.”
  3. If one were to create a Venn diagram with a circle for every dorm on campus, the intersection point of all 32 circles would consist exclusively of the words, “We’re the best dorm on campus.”

Finally, a Venn diagram of people who are new to campus and people the typical Notre Dame student really wants to get to know and is happy to take a Touchdown Jesus pic of is certainly a circle. Welcome to Notre Dame!

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

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