The University of Notre Dame is a special place for countless people on campus and around the world! Beyond the beautiful Golden Dome and other amazing sites around the campus, Notre Dame students find their place here in many ways. This series shares their stories and illustrates the many ways that people find their home under the Dome! This week, admissions intern Vera Leon shares her most meaningful place on campus.
Home Under the Dome
With a campus like Notre Dame, it’s easy to find a special place that gives you comfort, joy, and feels like home. Personally, there are many places that are sacred to me but they each serve a different function. The Grotto, with an incredible view of the lake and the basilica next door, is a special place for many, where you speak the language of spirituality and let faith be your guide. For others, it is their dorm lounge, where they spend time with their friends cooking, talking, and watching TV. A space feels sacred to you when it gives you that feeling of home when you are not in the place you grew up in, with your family and hometown friends as well as everything you knew. For me, my home under the Dome is, funnily enough, the lounge of LaFortune Student Center. The only place I can cram for a test and fly past my homework isn’t the 10th floor of Hesburgh Library or the tables at Duncan Student Center, but an old lounge with people walking in and out and dark lighting. Personally, the dark wooden interior with sofa lounges and ambient lighting make the space extremely inviting and warm, especially when it’s snowing outside and you just ordered a hot chocolate from Starbucks. Since so many people pass through LaFun—whether to buy something from The Huddle Mart, pick up an order, or escape the cold—I always manage to find friendly faces, chat and catch up with people. Frequently, I sit on the same corner sofa since the room has the perfect volume so that I can talk without being too loud. The lounge also allows me to be by myself when I need to. Sometimes, we need time to do things for ourselves, have some alone time, watch Netflix on our computers while eating a Subway sandwich or listening to a podcast. This room serves me in so many different ways and is, indeed, my home under the Dome.