Exploring New and Old Extracurriculars in College

Author: Meaghan Northup

My name is Meaghan Northup. I am a junior studying Business Analytics and French. One of my favorite aspects of Notre Dame is how easy it is to get involved as a student here. I love being a very active member of my community. I have met many of my best friends and made some of my best memories by trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. I have focused most of my involvement in college on the following areas: my dorm (Pasquerilla West Hall), consulting, and service. To be more specific, here is a list of activities I have participated in since my freshman year that have brought me a ton of joy! (Note that I did not do all of these activities at once. My point here is not to persuade you to be overly involved but just to try different activities and discover what you enjoy doing. There is no shame in trying one thing only to learn that you prefer to do another)

  • During my sophomore year, I served as Vice-President of my hall.

  • I have worked on the board for both Irish Consulting Club and French Club

  • I planned PDUB’s Closet – my dorm's largest charity event this fall. However, I have been involved with the event every year.

  • I am a mailroom worker for my dorm.

  • I am an intern for Notre Dame Admissions (The best job on campus).

  • I participated in two Student International Business Council projects my freshman year.

  • I have volunteered in South Bend regularly through the Mercy Works program.

  • I am a member of the Business Honors Program.

  • I have attended several leadership workshops including the freshman Shamrock Series conference.

  • I trained for and ran the Holy Half Marathon last spring. I will also be training for another race in Angers, France this spring!

  • I have participated in several case competitions for consulting including the Deloitte National Case Competition and the MBB Case Competition.

Meaghan Northrup performs in a Notre Dame play.

Although I have really appreciated my time trying these new and unique opportunities, one activity that I really missed in college was theater. Starting when I was 8, I trained in a theater conservatory for over 10 years. While at the conservatory, I especially enjoyed studying Shakespeare. I learned how to read the text, stage fight, dance, control lights, and more. Due to my other commitments at Notre Dame however, I didn’t have time to devote to this hobby before my junior year.

At the beginning of this semester, I decided I would find a way to add more theater to my life. Therefore, I auditioned for the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare company’s production of Love’s Labor’s Lost on a whim. Serving as Vice-President of my dorm the previous year had taken up so much of my time and I thought this would be the perfect way to fill it. Yet, I did not realize this sort of last-minute decision would completely change the course of my entire semester.

I did my first audition in early September, still wearing a suit from an earlier consulting networking event. I was thrilled to then be asked to come back for call-backs. Although I was very happy with the audition, I had no idea I might be cast as the lead in the play! A few days later I found out I had been cast as the Princess of France. The Princess is an extremely interesting character. She is outspoken but dignified, a romantic yet also a mischievous person. Although I had wanted to become involved in theater again, I had no idea the impact the audition would have on me. The play became my largest weekly time commitment and exposed me to some of the most fun and welcoming individuals on campus. I was so blessed to be welcomed to all NSR events and traditions almost instantaneously. I was also extremely impressed by the amount of acting talent and the amazing feedback I received from my director (a senior in the company).

Meaghan Northrup performs in a Notre Dame play.

The show is now closed and I am home for winter break. Reflecting back on my time during the show, I was given so much and also enabled to give back via our charity show at a local juvenile center. I am incredibly grateful that I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something new even as a junior. I made so many great friends I never would have met before. Additionally, I gained a lot of confidence to put myself out there and try new opportunities at Notre Dame. Finally, even though the role of the Princess was a huge commitment and different from any other role I have played before, I think she has made me a much stronger actor, performer, and person. Although next semester I will go abroad, I cannot wait to audition again with the company my senior year!