We all know what’s going on right now, and I don’t need to rehash it for you. And with all that’s going on, it sure seems silly to be upset about missing the physical aspects of school. But it makes sense to be upset, and it’s okay to be. I am, too.
The end of our senior year, whether high school or college, is set up to be an especially meaningful period of time. In the U.S., high school finishes out with senior prom, awards ceremonies, and various culminations of extracurricular endeavors. (That’s a fancy way of saying senior recognition within groups like your basketball team or show choir, etc.) And let’s not forget the graduation ceremony, caps and all.
College is kind of the same thing, but bigger, if that seems possible from where you are right now. The final dorm formals (including the much-anticipated Dome Dance), thesis presentations, respective senior recognition events. Having catch-up-and-maybe-goodbye meals with old and new friends alike. Popping champagne bottles amidst summer flowers and lifelong friends for those classic graduation photos.
Due to things out of our control, these celebrations we expected and had already emotionally invested in are now just…gone.
It’s the little mundane things that I find myself mourning the most. I don’t feel I was given enough time to really appreciate late-night studying in the LaFun east lounge or Sunday night Mass in Alumni Hall. I didn’t know at the time that I was attending my last Chorale rehearsal, my last section meeting, or my last Southwest Salad Thursday lunch date with my boyfriend Derek, laughing as he went back for a second bowl.
Perhaps most disheartening is the fact that my friends have been scattered back across the globe two months earlier than I expected. It was already going to be hard to transition to entirely new lives in entirely new locations. Now it’s much harder knowing that there’s a chance I may never see any of them again, and I never got to say a proper good-bye—at least at Notre Dame. We’re all hanging on the promise of a graduation ceremony, but we have no idea what next week will look like in the U.S., much less the end of May.
I don’t want you to take this as, “I have it worse than you.” I know our situations are different. You have every right to mourn the experiences that have been taken from you too.
What I do want you to know is that you have so many great experiences ahead of you in college. So many relationships to develop, so many things to learn, so many memories to make. Notre Dame is one of the best places in the world, and I ask you (nay, implore you) to not take your time there for granted. You will fly through those four years. Everyone tells you this, but that’s because it’s true.
For now, survive the social distancing, do your best in your online classes, and stay home. With cooperation and a bit of luck, we’ll be the only graduating class that gets to say we got our diplomas in the middle of a quarantine.
And everything will be okay.
We are strong, and we are resilient.
Notre Dame can’t wait for you to arrive.
Lisa von Werder
Class of 2020
VIDEO: Living in Community
We don't call campus your "home under the Dome" for nothing—residence halls are the foundation of our undergraduate community. Each first-year student is randomly assigned to a residence hall and a roommate or roommates. The Housing Application is scheduled to open in late May. Learn more about residential communities here and watch the video to see our approach to residential life.
Academics & Research
Fighting to Go Faster and Farther than Ever Thought Possible
Studying engineering at Notre Dame means embracing innovation. That's why aerospace engineers at the University's Institute for Flow Physics and Control decided to build the country's largest quiet Mach 6 wind tunnel as the next step in a proud heritage of Notre Dame aeronautics. Click the button to watch. View the entire What Would You Fight For? series here.
The Keough School of Global Affairs
Interested in adding a global dimension to your education?
Join the Keough School Live on Instagram
When: Thursday, April 2 - 4:00 p.m. ET
Denise Ayo, associate director of undergraduate programs, will be live to answer your questions.
Check out all the Keough School's undergraduate offerings, including the supplementary major in global affairs and opportunities to engage in one of nine centers and institutes.
Student Story: Oman student experience inspires dialogue, trust, and broader global perspective
Aid & Affordability
VIDEO: How to Read Your Financial Aid Notification
If you applied for financial aid and haven't received your financial aid notification in the mail, you will soon. Watch the video and Bailey Jordan '22 will walk you through it.
- Notre Dame sends out financial aid notifications on a rolling basis, depending on when you apply.
- Check the Financial Aid tab in your applicant status portal to see if all your documents have been received.
- Questions? Get some answers via our Financial Aid FAQs for admitted students.
ND LIVE: Webcast on Career Development
Plan for a career you love with the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development. We're going live to talk about how with Associate VP Ryan Willerton and Notre Dame career counselors.
When: Tuesday, March 31 - 7:00 p.m.
How to Join: Look for an email the day of the event with a link to join.
Submit your questions before the broadcast.
Click the button for a schedule of upcoming events.
Faith & Service
Join Our Faith Community with FaithND
- Request a Grotto Prayer
- Share in Lenten Reflection
- Sign Up for the Daily Gospel Reflection
- Listen to the Everyday Holiness Podcast
Click the button to learn more and watch the video for a performance of Seek Ye First by Notre Dame choir Voices of Faith.
Research and Innovation
The Class of 2024 is driven, creative, and entrepreneurial. We know you want to change the world for the better and we're dedicated to providing resources that will help you grow in knowledge and give you opportunities to apply it. Here are two.
Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE)
CUSE supports students as they seek funding for research and enrichment experiences. CUSE also helps students apply for prestigious grants and fellowships, including Rhodes and Fulbright. Learn More About CUSE
This is the home for all commercialization and entrepreneurial activities at Notre Dame. Undergraduates can participate in programs like the McCloskey New Venture Competition and pursue a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn More About the IDEA Center
Connect with Us
Current students, admissions counselors, and alumni are all eager to connect with you. We want to welcome you to the Class of 2024 and answer your questions.
Here are a few ways we'll be in touch:
If you gave us permission to text you, keep an eye out for texts directly from current students and alumni. International students may receive messages via WhatsApp.
Alumni, including those in your area and members of our alumni advisory boards, may be calling to welcome you to the Notre Dame family.
Reach out to your admissions counselor to find ways to connect and have your questions answered.
VIDEO: Hayden Mascarenhas '23 on Following Your Curiosity at Notre Dame
From his first week at Notre Dame, Hayden Mascarenhas ’23 felt at home.
That’s saying something because Mascarenhas, who is Portuguese, grew up in Saudi Arabia and India, where his family lives now. He came a long way to attend Notre Dame and was grateful to find a home under the Dome in his residence hall community in St. Edward’s Hall.
Click the button to read Hayden's story and check out other First-Year Journeys via our Stories & News feed.
Question(s) of the Day
Three Pressing Questions
We know you're eager for answers about how the current worldwide health concerns will affect your college decision and enrollment at Notre Dame. We want to assure you that your concerns are our concerns and we are committed to providing you with answers as we have them.
Today, admissions counselors Brendan Corsones and Jennifer Pittman answer three of your top questions: