I grab a coffee from the Huddle and head over to the lakes to find a wooden bench to sit on. I bring a book because I might read a few paragraphs in between glancing at the lake, people, geese – anything that catches my peripheral eye and attention. Mostly, I look at the blank margins of the page as I daydream and replay old stories and conversations. A rare, yet cool breeze is the "cherry on top" of this quick getaway.
This is my ideal Sunday morning at Notre Dame – granted, a morning that does not involve our winter months of November through March and sometimes April. Regardless, Sunday, for me and many other students, is a day of studying and preparing for the week ahead. I often find myself so overwhelmed by everything I have to accomplish that I feel paralyzed and end up procrastinating, which causes me to stress even more. This is how I calm down. If I fully commit myself to doing nothing more important that reflecting, reading, and watching ducks, then, after an hour or so, I’m levelheaded enough to put my to-do list in perspective. It’s no longer grandiose and intimidating, but instead “just a string of stuff I gotta get done.” I can come back to Cav and set up my desk with some books, a Peace Iced Tea, and my jumbled notes from class before starting on an assignment. Eventually, I’ll pause to find a good Spotify station, and then after about an hour more of studying, I’ll wander down my hallway in search of some chatter or maybe a fellow resident with snacks. Throughout the day, I’ll check one thing after another off my to-do list – laundry, emails, lost-item-locating – until I’m close enough to good enough and well-prepared to start the week.
This, again, is ideal – I’m still kicking myself for the Sundays that, instead of accomplishing a “string of stuff,” I chose to absorb a string of articles on the internet or sit around on Facebook/Reddit/Twitter. Ideally, I can find more ways to make the most of my Sundays (and Mondays, Tuesdays, etc.) so that my upcoming junior year will be filled with a string of small but mighty accomplishments. For now, though, I'll continue to appreciate a productive Sunday starting with the quiet calm of St. Mary's and St. Joseph's lakes here at Notre Dame.