Moving away to college is one of the most drastic changes one can experience. I have always both been excited for different seasons of my life and dreaded them. Despite looking forward to college for many years, the time to move out of my childhood home seemed to come so fast. I will never forget sitting in the front seat of my mom’s minivan on the road up to South Bend thinking about this new season of my life. However, since coming to school I have grown to really appreciate the change in seasons.
College is amazing! It is so fast paced and so much is always changing. I have never felt more challenged to learn, grow, and step out of my comfort zone than my time at Notre Dame. Now a year and a half later, I’m somehow in my second spring semester on campus. It is shocking to me how fast time has flown by - time sure does fly when you’re having fun! This is why I try very hard to always be present, enjoying each unique day I have on campus. Surprisingly, an aspect of my time at Notre Dame that I have grown to especially appreciate is the distinctiveness of the Spring and Fall.
Fall at Notre Dame is infinitely exciting. As a freshman, you are experiencing everything for the first time. You leave home for the first time. You go to your first football game. You make your first college friends. You even eat your first southwest salad in North Dining Hall. I remember that each moment seemed to take me by surprise as I was so amazed at this brand new fast-paced life of mine. Beyond me, the campus seemed to echo the same sentiment. Each Friday the campus was swarmed with excited families, tourists, and Notre Dame football fans. The sun brightly shone down on me as I walked to class in my favorite sundress. I appreciated many free food trucks, fall carnivals, and other offerings to welcome new students.
As a sophomore, although I already experienced a Notre Dame fall, I felt a similar energy. I greatly enjoyed helping out during welcome weekend, meeting all the freshmen in my dorm, and getting excited for more Notre Dame Football. And as the months go by, fall always shines even brighter. Gold, red, and brown leaves speckle the trees. Then, the leaves fall and form ten-foot-high piles of leaves lining the quads! Although the temperatures do begin to drop, I am able to wear my favorite sweaters and vintage Notre Dame sweatshirts to class. Fall break, Halloween, and Thanksgiving also bring so much to look forward to.
Spring - although very different - has just as much charm. One of the nicest parts of second semester is having Saturdays free. Although I have so much fun at football games, I really enjoy having a slower day to sleep in, go on a run, sit at Starbucks, and do homework. Spring is also formal season! Dorms and clubs on campus host these fun events at many different places from Dahnke Ballroom to downtown Chicago. Everyone dresses up and dances the night away. So far this year I have been to the Sophomore Formal, the Pasquerilla West Hall Formal, the Deloitte Scholars Ball, and still have one or two more left! I also love seeing the campus blanketed in snow. Thankfully, Notre Dame expertly plows roads and paths meaning it is still easy to get around and attend class.
Other parts of second semester that I really enjoy are watching the sunset later each week, my dorm’s parent weekend, training for the Holy Half (Notre dame’s half marathon in the middle of April), the Blue and Gold game, Valentines Day with all my best friends, Spring Break visiting my aunt in LA, and Easter on campus. Even though the energy is very different from the Fall, I realize that Notre Dame is magical year-round.
My advice to those worried about the change in seasons is that it’s so important to appreciate the good in both. Next Spring I will be studying abroad in Angers, France. Although I am immensely excited to go, I also find myself sad to miss my junior Spring on campus. Even though the second semester doesn’t carry quite the excitement of the campus in the Fall, the subtle joy of my winter adventures with my best friends at Notre Dame means just as much.