It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since I returned home. Like everyone else, my new normal has become interacting with others via Zoom and moving between the same three rooms every day. It feels like so long ago that I was on campus, but these online activities make Notre Dame feel a little bit closer.
So if you’re missing ND or trying to get a taste of student life before making your college decision, here are ten ways to make it (almost) feel like you’re home under the Dome:
1. Watch ND sports reruns
I didn’t become much of a sports fan until college, but being home has made me realize how much I miss rooting for the Irish! Luckily, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish YouTube channel has been posting full football games for fans to watch - just search through their videos and look for “The Vault: ND on NBC.” They have lots of other great content to explore on their channel too!
2. Watch virtual performances from our student groups
We might not be able to attend concerts or shows in person, but many of our performing arts groups have found a way to bring us entertainment despite the distance. The Glee Club sang a beautiful rendition of the Alma Mater, and the Folk Choir recorded Day is Done - all while apart from one another. Pasquerilla East Musical Company, Notre Dame’s only student-run musical group, hosted their amazing revue on their YouTube channel.
In addition, the Film, Television, and Theatre Department recorded a series of behind-the-scenes videos, describing their visions for the production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which was set to run in April. I HIGHLY recommend going to 3:53 in this video to see Matt Hawkins, Head of the Musical Theatre Program, slay our dance routine.
3. Change your Zoom background to pictures of campus
Notre Dame shared pictures of campus to use as Zoom backgrounds in this Instagram post. Let’s be honest - sometimes you don’t want people to see your messy room in your Zoom call (unless you’re Charlie Puth). These backgrounds are the perfect solution!
4. Watch Rudy
Great for family movie nights, this is the quintessential Notre Dame viewing material. Just like Rudy, it may take us longer to be on campus than we expected, but I know it’ll be amazing when we return!
P.S. Every year, on the first Friday back to school, they screen Rudy in the stadium, and all students can attend for free! (Note: bring tissues. It gets you. Every. Time.)
5. Listen to podcasts from our Notre Dame community
Campus Ministry is starting a faith-focused podcast about things that seem to be contradictory, called Points of Connection. Our beloved Fr. Pete, Director of Campus Ministry, stars in the first episode, entitled “Solitude and Community.”
6. Live stream Masses from campus
The Alumni Association now broadcasts Milkshake Mass every Thursday night on its Facebook page, and students have turned to Zoom to continue the tradition of post-Milkshake Mass Zumba, now affectionately called “Zoom-ba.”
7. Watch the Dome camera
When you can’t be on campus, the next best thing is a 24-hour live stream of it. Plus, I’ve always wondered what the view from the Dome is like...
8. Follow @NDAdmissions on social media
Our schedules may look a little different than they do when we’re on campus, but we’re still doing takeovers on Snapchat and Instagram, showing you what our classes and clubs are like now. We’re always happy to talk with you and answer any questions!
9. Join the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Movie Club
Zoom Back Camera, DPAC’s virtual film club, is the perfect social distancing activity. Watch any or all of the designated films each week, then tune in for virtual discussions with Cinema Program Director Ricky Herbst and special guests on YouTube live tream.
10. Take a virtual tour of campus
As the oft-repeated Lou Holtz quote goes, “If you've been there, no explanation is necessary. If you haven't, none is adequate.” Even though we can’t be there in person, I think pictures and videos of our gorgeous campus will suffice until we can all come back!