Yours Truly: Adjusting to South Bend

Author: Tajae Thompson


The University of Notre Dame is within South Bend, even though it’s technically Notre Dame, Indiana. While South Bend is not as glamorous nor as large as New York City, Los Angeles, or Philadelphia, it has its charms.

South Bend underwhelmed me at first. I am from West Palm Beach, Florida, where it rarely reaches below 70 degrees, so I was disappointed with the cold weather that came in the fall. That was mostly in my freshman year, but I have since made a complete 180. Don’t get me wrong, I try not to leave my room in February when the temperature is somehow in single digits, but I appreciate South Bend and its weather a lot more. 

Especially now, the leaves are changing, and campus and the rest of South Bend are stunning. In Florida, we don’t experience leaves changing to the same extent as we do here. I’m seeing leaves with different shades of red, brown, yellow, and orange for the first time. It creates a wonderfully dramatic moment that makes you want to curl up in a chair and read a good book. Even though it snowed in October last year, it’s all a part of the experience. The first snow always results in a massive snowball fight on South Quad, and it only serves to build more memories.

Another part of South Bend living that I was worried about was the restaurant scene. In South Florida, we have so many cultures, which means so much delicious food. South Bend has not disappointed. There is a wide array of food, and it’s all so good. Some of my personal favorites are Nom Nom Pho, Sushi Garden, and Los Aces. All of these restaurants are so great, and they aren’t very far from campus, so the Uber ride is not that expensive, or you can use the South Bend public transportation system, which is free with your Notre Dame ID card. 

South Bend is a great city. It was a different vibe from my hometown, but I’ve grown to enjoy its quirks. Experiencing the fall in the Midwest is an experience like no other. It’s chilly, but there is something magical about trick-or-treating on Halloween with the leaves changing around you!