Like any excited college freshman, I entered Notre Dame with so many things I told myself I HAD to do before graduation. Some of these I was able to check off early in my career – visiting the Grotto, touching the “Play Like a Champion” sign, going to College Gameday, attending Milkshake Mass, and more. Others require a bit more planning and effort, and I admit, I’ve been slacking. But what better time than New Year’s to reinvigorate my plans? Now that I’m a sophomore and I only have 5 semesters left here (cue mild panic attack), it’s time to get my life in order with a Notre Dame-style New Year’s Resolutions list:
1. Go on a Center for Social Concerns Seminar over break
The CSC is amazing! They have so many service opportunities for students, some of their most popular being their fall and spring break seminars. Students take a one-credit course to learn about a specific social justice issue (from public health to immigration to science ethics), then participate in a related one-week immersion trip during Notre Dame’s fall or spring break. Appalachia is one of the most popular, but I’ve heard their other seminars are just as incredible!
2. Attend Mass in every single dorm chapel
Each dorm’s chapel is unique, and it’s great to experience another dorm community through their Mass celebrations! So far, I’ve been to Mass in eight of the 31 dorms. More are being built though, so I’ll definitely need to speed up my pace . . .
Luckily, Howard Hall has a Lenten initiative where they lead walkovers to every single different dorm chapel for weekday Masses!
3. Get on the jumbotron during a football game
Maybe it’s happened already when I wasn’t looking. Maybe I’m too short and the cameras can’t see me being extremely hype behind taller fans. No matter the reason, I have yet to be on the jumbotron during a football game. One of my friends and I have been more successful at basketball and hockey games – our record is 15 times on the jumbotron in one game – but we just haven’t broken through with football. (If anyone reading this knows someone working the cameras, please connect me.)
4. Study Abroad
Notre Dame is ranked #7 in the country for study abroad – 75% of Notre Dame students participate! There are a variety of summer, semester, and even year-long programs for students. You can go anywhere from Beijing to Berlin, Santiago to Sydney. Even though we love South Bend, it’s extremely valuable to have an international perspective on your education!
5. Use McWell more often
We all need a little more wellness in our lives! McDonald Center for Student Well-Being is a great spot to relax with friends in one of their themed rooms, eat free snacks and coffee, and unwind during a busy week.
6. Attend more lectures
The Week@ND, an events schedule, includes a list of all lectures happening each week. There are so many talks from visiting professors and our own faculty that seem incredible, but it’s hard to convince myself to go when I know there’s so many other things to do. One of my friends told me that each week, she picks at least one activity from the weekly calendar to attend, and though that might be a bit ambitious, is it really New Year’s without at least one overly optimistic resolution?
For all those high school seniors who just found out that you’ve been accepted, congratulations and welcome to the Notre Dame family! If you start your own ND resolutions in your first year, you’ll be well on your way to a meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable Notre Dame experience.
Happy New Year!