Author: Julia Tombari


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Earlier this summer, I got sucked into the worldwide phenomenon that is Pokemon GO. I would search far and wide every day and try to catch these little monsters. Portable charger in hand, I power-walked down the streets of Los Angeles, hoping to fill up my Pokedex. When I got to campus, seeing the literal minefield of PokeStops and Gyms made me wonder, what if I brought this game to our school in the form of a Special Interest club?

I swiftly gathered a team, and a Facebook group and group chat quickly ensued. We met in the student center coming up with an abundance of club event ideas and geeked out over our 90’s kid love of the beloved series.

However, after meeting with SAO, we shortly received a letter in our inboxes—Pokemon Go Club was a No-Go. To be fair, the app had lost a lot of traction worldwide and the Student Activities Office was concerned with whether a club leadership composed largely of seniors and reliant on a viral app would be sustainable.

These reasons are all fair. But initially, I was bummed. How could a club that is meant to bring people together and encourage exercise be a bad thing? However after much reflection, I think that this experience is yet another example of the mantra “everything happens for a reason”. 

Even though Pokemon Go club will not come to be a reality, that doesn’t stop me from playing the game and playing with my friends. I realized that in a way, this game is a metaphor for how success is a journey. 

You all are trying to figure out what you want out of the next four years in a school. You have worked so hard to be the best version of yourself that you can be, and it can be daunting to see your classmates all vying for the same spots at various universities that you are.

Let me tell you that while it may seem like your entire life is determined by an acceptance letter, you are going to be just fine. College is going to be filled with amazing memories and moments no matter what, and no matter where you end up committing to. 

In Pokemon, there have been times that I have had a rare Pokemon run from me, or I have ran across an open field only to be seconds too late. However, my Pokemon journey, just as the journey of my life is one heck of a ride, and these mini “failures” have only made me stronger. 

Even at Notre Dame, there have been times where I have failed at something. While Pokemon GO is a silly anecdote, I have failed a test. I have not gotten an interview. I was rejected from many experiences that I applied to. 

While it may feel like this is the last time and place to NOT succeed at something, if something doesn’t go your way along this college journey, don’t fret, and realize that this is a minor mishap in the grander scheme of your whole life, which will no doubt be full of success and happy times.

Although it may seem like everything is on the line, know that as long as you are confident that you tried your hardest, and that you have a positive attitude, everything will fall into place.

I know that I will never be able to metaphorically  “catch ‘em all” and do the best at EVERYTHING I want to do, but I am valuable for the friends and memories I have made along my life’s journey. So go out and catch all the opportunities and moments of positivity that you can. Even if you fall down, know you can get back up and continue on your adventure.