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Anywhere but here

| Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The first fall of snow is always the most memorable experience of a South Bend winter. However, by the time January and February roll around, the cold just becomes an inconvenient nuisance. In addition to the horrid wind chill, black ice covers the sidewalk that makes your usual walk back to the dorm a consistent near-death experience. I may sound dramatic, because I am, but the weather often makes me wish I was back at home in sunny San Diego. However, blaming the Midwest for having seasons even though I choose this school is just another way to blame someone or something for what they can’t control.

Even then, throughout my three years of college, I have had many existential questions about the things I can’t control, the cards I have been dealt and about my future. Why go to a school known to have inclement weather when I could have gone somewhere back out west? Fair question. Maybe it was the romanticization of the snow, the web of Notre Dame connections, the fact that my brother went here or the maybe the chance that Taylor Swift may one day perform in Notre Dame stadium. Yet somehow, for some reason, I would prefer to be here instead of anywhere else. 

Besides the weather, I deal with existential crises about my major, wondering if I went down the wrong tract and should have gone pre-med instead of economics, considering the rest of my family is in the health field. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I did something else somewhere else. But I can’t live in the “what ifs” that cause me to wish I were anywhere but here. Besides, who’s to say I can’t mix my economics degree with some health-related business? Yet somehow, for some reason, I would prefer to be here instead of anywhere else. 

And of course, a college campus does not come without its fair share of conflicts in which I often dream about being home in peace rather than being here. Different levels of anger, disappointment and sadness. Why, out of everything that has occurred, would I want to be here? On one hand, it is necessary to confront conflict, but on the other hand, it is often better to avoid it. But conflict can make you a stronger person, and, when you have the right friends by your side, you know everything will be alright. Therefore, for many reasons, I would prefer to be here than anywhere else. 

After everything I’ve done in this three years, I still cannot even find an appropriate answer the prompt “Why Notre Dame?” because, from the weather, education crises and the usual conflicts, something still pulls me here throughout all this nonsense. Not to sound philosophical (or dramatic) but, it does not always make sense. Maybe it was because I found the right people to spend my time with, or maybe it is the gut-instinct to go for the best opportunity. There are things I know for certain, and there are things that are just unexplainable. Yet somehow, for some reason, I would prefer to be here instead of anywhere else.

You can contact Andrew Marciano at [email protected]
The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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