Isabelle Kause | Wednesday, May 17, 2023
A year ago at this time, I was sitting in a dorm room studying for finals, all the while very uncertain of what the future had in store for me. The biggest question on my mind was whether or not I’d find out that I had finally been accepted into Notre Dame. At the time, that dream seemed so far away and yet so close at the same time. I had gotten a taste of what that community could be like through my time at Holy Cross, but the decision of whether or not I’d be accepted wasn’t ultimately up to me.
At the end of it all, I just wanted to finish the school year at Holy Cross knowing that I did everything I could to make my dream a reality. My parents constantly reminded my brother and I of the importance of trying our best and never giving up, so that was what carried me through the entirety of that year.
I just wanted to leave knowing that I had tried my best. So, I did what I needed to do to power through finals: I chugged a few sweet cream cold brews (thanks to my roommate), created study guides and flashcards until my hands hurt, pulled a few all-nighters and most importantly, prayed to God that everything would work out the way He had intended.
A year later, I am able to say that the determination and prayers worked and that I am writing this at the University of Notre Dame. Okay, well technically I am writing this from the Eddy Street Starbucks while drinking a chai tea latte, listening to country music and contemplating all that I have to get done this week, but you get the gist.
The very first column I wrote for Viewpoint was about my journey to Notre Dame. For my last column, I thought I’d take it full circle. I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on the past year. While there were definitely times of stress and sadness, there were also so many times of joy. Like, for example, I’ll never forget the time my best friend and I went to an off-campus party and almost fell through the floor, then walked to Taco Bell at 2 a.m. for a crunchwrap supreme. And then the time we Ubered to Michigan City, kindly asked our Uber to stop and pick up our pizza order and then sat in the back of his car while he gave us love advice. Spoiler alert: Everything he told us that we didn’t want to be true ended up being true. I’ll also never forget the time that Lila and Mya introduced me to Nutella ice cream waffles at 1 a.m. in the Johnson Family Hall kitchen or rushing the field after the Clemson game, a game I truly didn’t think we would win.
There are many more memories that made this year what it was and have become. There are so many people that helped get me to where I am today. But there are two people that I want to take the time to say an extra thank you to in my last column — my parents. Without them, I would not be the person I am today, and I am incredibly grateful for all of the support and guidance they have given me, not just in the past year, but throughout the entirety of my life.
My dad is the kind of person that can take stressful situations in life and find elements of humor in them. Throughout the past year, he’s encouraged me to look at life with a new perspective. My mom is my #1 fan and my biggest supporter. She’s everything I can only hope to be like one day, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her determination, belief in me and trust that things would work out.
I don’t know how many people read what I have to say, but if you’re someone reading this and going through something similar, here’s what I want to tell you. Never give up. The path might not always be as straightforward and as easy as you had hoped, but oftentimes, I find that the hardest, most difficult paths lead to the most beautiful outcomes.
Isabelle Kause is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying sociology and minoring in journalism. When she’s not busy, you can find her listening to country music or Taylor Swift or trying out new makeup/skincare products. She can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.