On Friday, February 3rd 2023, the Notre Dame Class of 2023 gathered in the Dahnke Ballroom to celebrate the 100 days standing between us as Notre Dame students and being Notre Dame alumni. At the dance, I got the chance to connect with friends from throughout my Notre Dame experience, some of which I hadn’t had the chance to see in years. We got dressed up, we took pictures, we ate delicious food, we talked, we danced, and we reminisced on everything that had happened in the 1,260 days prior since arriving at Notre Dame.
In reflecting on the 1,260 days prior to the 100 Days Dance, the Class of 2023’s college experience has been anything but ordinary. We were in the midst of our freshman year when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down what little we knew of our college experience, leaving us to call into classes from our childhood bedrooms. We spent our sophomore year in masks and distanced from our peers, as the entire world figured out how to move forward. Many of us weren’t together during our junior year, as many (including myself) were fortunate enough to study abroad. Our senior year has been the first time where as a class, we are spending an entire uninterrupted year together and are experiencing a sense of normalcy. At the 100 Days Dance, we were able to truly celebrate together and look forward to what is still to come.
I am so immensely grateful for my experience at Notre Dame, even with all of the seismic challenges in the past 1,260 days. I have made incredible memories, met some of the most amazing people, and have challenged myself both academically and personally in the pursuit of growing to become a better person. I’ve had the opportunity to do some really amazing things that I would have never had the opportunity to had I not been at Notre Dame. At the dance, I was able to connect with and celebrate with the amazing people in my class that have been integral parts of my formation as a person while at Notre Dame. I am truly a firm believer that the people make the place, and it is because of who I have shared my college experience with that I have become who I am today. The next 100 (or so) days prior to our graduation will continue to form all of us as we prepare to face the world after we walk the stage, and if they are at all as formative as the last 1,260 days have been, I’m excited to see what they’ve got in store.