The Notre Dame Family

Author: Meg Beuter


College Bound is the Notre Dame admissions podcast. In our final episode of season 1, we’re joined by American studies major, Meg Beuter ’21, and political science major, Matthew Fischer ’21. Meg and Matthew join us to talk about their transition to Notre Dame from Tennessee and North Dakota, as well as their extracurriculars, dorms, and favorite aspects of Notre Dame. They end by sharing their best advice for current high school seniors!

Read the previous blogs: 

  1. Application Review and Deadlines
  2. Academic Criteria for Admission
  3. Activities and Recommendations on Your Application
  4. Financial Aid and Merit Aid
  5. Notre Dame Traditions
  6. Residential Life and Dorms 
  7. Faith and Service
  8. Research
  9. Internships and Networking

I am writing this blog post at a time when our Notre Dame community is grieving. We are mourning the loss of two members of the freshman class, who were tragically hit by a car just this past Friday night. A member of the sophomore class who was with them is currently hospitalized and in critical condition. 

This event has shrouded our campus with a veil of heaviness. Although I did not know either of the students personally, I am left with the feeling that my soul is aching. All of our souls are aching. To lose the vibrant presence of a classmate, a roommate, a sister, a daughter, a friend so suddenly -- it can be hard to wrap one’s head around. 

And yet, we as the Notre Dame family came together. We held a vigil and prayer service to honor their lives. I stood there in front of Bond Hall, clutching my sides, listening to the sound of the violin and of Father Pete’s voice as he led us in prayer. Despite the cold, I was engulfed in a sense of warmth. I knew that each person standing around me, whether their face was familiar or not, was my family at that moment. I was so thankful for my chance to be alive and to be in a place where, when faced with unthinkable challenges, we lean on one another. We may come from different places, think differently, believe differently -- but we love the same. 

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Meg in front of the Main Building with friends.

In times of both intense pain and intense joy, everyone at Notre Dame unites and is willing to care for those around them, whether they are a stranger or a friend. I have never been a part of any community before in which people are so unafraid to reach out because they genuinely want to know, love, and support you. 
In my brief time as a student thus far, this unconditional support has revealed itself to me in a multitude of ways. I am a new member of the Folk Choir, which is one of the many music groups here on campus. A junior in the Folk Choir whom I had rarely spoken to recently texted me and asked if I wanted to grab lunch. At first, I was confused. Why would someone I hardly know want to eat with me? I realized that it was simply because she wanted to get to know me and to let me know that I can come to her anytime for advice. She and all of my fellow choir members have shown me what it means to be a Notre Dame student: we extend our attention, care, and love to others, no matter whether we know them or not. 

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View of the field at Notre Dame Stadium from the student section during a home game.

Notre Dame is also a place where things are constantly happening. Classes, dorm events, club meetings, performances, games -- you name it, it’s probably going on. Even in the time of a pandemic, when activities have been restricted, I still understand what people mean when they say “college will keep you busy.” Being busy has its benefits, but I also need quiet moments. I think I speak for most of us -- students at any age, whether in high school or college -- when I say that quiet moments are desperately needed, but they are rare. Here at ND, I’ve been able to find those moments to step away and reflect. Our campus is known for its natural beauty, including the two lakes that are just out my dorm’s back door. At least once a week, I take a walk or a run around St. Joseph’s Lake. 

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Sunset at St. Joseph's Lake
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Yellow leaves on a path near St. Joseph's lake

Autumn is reaching its peak right now in South Bend, and as the leaves began to change a few weeks ago, I found myself standing on the lake path in a haven of sun-lit yellow. On the ground below me and in the trees above me, everything was the most stunning shade of yellow, and I felt purely grateful. The stress about my schoolwork subsided, and it seemed to no longer burden me because I was reminded of the beauty that abounds here. Here, where I live! This is my home! I thought, I love this home. 

Whether I’m alone standing on the lake path, sitting with close friends on South Quad, or talking with someone I’ve only just met, I know that I am embraced by the Notre Dame family. I know that we are resilient and that we seek beauty in all things -- in our home, in our struggles, and in one another. That is what makes Notre Dame extraordinary to me. 

Meg Beuter is a first-year student living in Howard Hall. She's from Nashville, TN and is an American studies major.