Like most college students, my friends and I have discussed many activities and trips we’d like to take “one day” during our time at Notre Dame. Over dinners at the dining hall and chill nights on the floors of our dorm rooms, we’d tell ourselves “Let’s try that restaurant one day” or “Let’s do [X activity] soon.”
We had the best intentions, wanting to get out into the city more often and check off some items on our ND bucket lists. But between midterms, football season, and other obligations, we got distracted and never got around to them. If our Notes app became a physical list, it would have been shoved out of sight in the bottom drawer of our modular furniture desks.
The pandemic has totally changed our perspectives. Now, we realize that our time here is more precious than it seemed in January. If we don’t do these things soon, we might lose the opportunity altogether. Plus, the sunny, warm weather was almost begging us to get outside and spend more time in the fresh air.
This year, we began our mission of doing things “now,” rather than “one day.” Instead of wishing we were the people swinging on lakeside hammocks, we became them. We organized a socially-distant volleyball tournament with households from one of our friends’ boyfriends’ dorms and even took a trip to the beautiful beaches at Indiana Dunes State Park. I had never seen Lake Michigan before, and I highly recommend going if you’re considering it.
Looking forward, on the first weekend of October, my Google Calendar shows a bright red event for our apple picking excursion at a nearby orchard. This is something I’ve never done before, despite it being my third year here in the Midwest! My friends living off-campus have an oven in their apartment, and I’m so excited to do some fall baking with freshly picked apples. Just thinking about the possibility of some warm apple crisp for breakfast on a beautiful fall game day is enough to make my mouth water.
While game days, classes, and dorm events may not look the same as last year, I am so grateful to just even be here on campus. And in a greater sense, I am grateful to the pandemic for reminding me to slow down and appreciate the present. We only get four years of college, and there’s no time like the present to start planning and doing those things you’ve always thought about. Go ahead, make your Notes a reality!