My #NDJourney - My Forgotten Option

Author: Lisa von Werder

Unlike many others who had been planning to attend Notre Dame for ages, I didn’t officially make my final college decision until literally the last minute. I just didn’t feel confident enough about any of my options—but somewhere in the back of my mind, I had made my decision as soon as I visited campus. 



I had applied to ND through QuestBridge back in October of my senior year, and I was admitted, but I didn’t receive the full four-year scholarship. I promptly forgot about my admission because I convinced myself I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Fast forward to the next semester, when my father saw some mail from ND about Admitted Student Days and “highly encouraged” me to make time for a campus visit. You know how it is. When parents really want you to do something, you kinda have to.


BenchI wrote a novel on the anniversary of my campus visit.

This campus visit was, well, a life-changer. I had a great tour guide to tell me about the design program and the wonderful faculty, and a trip to the financial aid office finally convinced me that going to a private university wouldn’t leave me a zillion dollars in debt. The campus was beautiful and despite being left to my own devices for a while, getting a little lost, and ending up with sore feet, I felt better at ND than I had at any other college campus.


PinkMy biggest time commitment my first semester.


Whatever delayed my decision, I made it, and my first year here was so very eventful. I threw myself in right away by auditioning for Chorale and a play, as well as going on AAA’s freshman retreat. And honestly? The time commitment wasn’t even that bad! Plus, I found groups of people that I can still depend on today for a catch-up brunch or a shoulder to lean on. It was so important to me that I stay involved in performance and get more in touch with my heritage, and Notre Dame provided opportunities for both of those. Meanwhile, I get to pursue my passion of art in my academics with a major in visual communication design.


ConcertOne word: CHORALE!

My journey here may be an ongoing process, but after looking at where I’ve been and where I am, I like where I’m headed. I’m paving my own future, step by step.