1- Lived On Campus
One of the things I most appreciated about Notre Dame when I was applying was the strong sense of community, and a lot of that comes from the dorm culture. Although about 35% of seniors do choose to move off campus for their last year, and I have lots of friends who have loved their experience doing this, my decision to remain in Welsh Family Hall was one of the best choices I think I could’ve made for my last year at Notre Dame. Because of COVID, it felt like we almost lost a year of living in a normal dorm culture, and so I didn’t want to lose any more time on campus. Being on campus this year was wonderful because I never felt like it was inconvenient to hang out with my other on campus or underclassmen friends, and when I had late rehearsals or club meetings it was always super easy to get home quickly. Living in Welsh Fam again this year ensured that I was still very much involved with the campus community and got to enjoy the campus itself as much as possible in these last few months.
2- Kept A Running List of Things I Love About ND
When I was a freshman, one of my senior friends from band told me about a great idea he had for his last year at ND. He started a note in his notes app in august and every time he randomly thought about something he loved about ND or had a particularly heartwarming/memorable moment, he wrote it down. At the end of the year, and especially when some sad vibes started to kick in, he was able to look back on how much he loved ND and focus on the gratitude of senior year, not the sadness. I’ve done that this year and I am so happy I did because no matter how stressful or overwhelming things get, I always have little reminders of why I’m here and how special the last four years have been.
3- Stayed Really Involved
Although admittedly there were definitely some times during this past year when I do feel like I could have been less busy, I’m really glad that I took advantage of all Notre Dame has to offer while I still can. Falling into bouts of senioritis can certainly be tempting, but I’ve so enjoyed spending time with my friends one last time in shows, taking super interesting classes, and saying yes to new experiences. Give yourself time to breathe and reflect during the last few months, but also keep doing the things you’ve loved doing the past three years for as long as you can!