Friday, September 3, 2010

Notre Dame Autumn

It's my last fall as a Notre Dame student. Last year of classes, pep rallies, and the student section at football games (at least that's what the ND police think, muahaha).

I'm really, really scared about graduating. Even more scared than I was about coming to college, and that's saying something. This has manifested itself in urgent appointments with the Career Center staff (I told the lady "I would really just like a job in 9 months") and frantic emails to my parents listing every single thing I could possibly do after graduation (law school? grad school? Teach for America? consulting? So help me). It's a little over-the-top considering it's only Sept. 3.

The Dillon pep rally was today and tomorrow we play Purdue. I've got The Shirt made into a dress and temporary leprechaun tattoos to put on my face. I'm sitting in the Badin Senior section. Hurray!

It's funny how the whole time I was in London and New York, all I could think about was how much I loved and missed Notre Dame. "If I could only go to the Grotto right now." "Ooh I miss the dining hall." "Just think of the Golden Dome - remember how you can see it shine from anywhere on campus?" And yes my campus is beautiful. But it's also so chock-full of preps that it's a lot like one big country club. It is a safe cozy little cocoon of unreality. And everyone here is so good-looking and smart that it makes one feel plain by comparison. Comparisons are odious, as Cervantes, Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare and John Donne would say. But really this campus is a pretty skewed representation of the general population. So as much as I love my school, I'm not nearly as obsessed with it when actually here. Good to remember for the future.

Oh, but in case you were wondering, the Grotto really is all it's cracked up to be, and more.


  1. Tess, I miss you! I'm sure you had a blast today :)

    I wrote out a comment earlier but it appears that it has disappeared into cyberspace. This was the gist of it...

    Just a few thoughts from someone a couple years out of college. I remember senior fall as a pretty miserable semester actually. Coming back from studying abroad and having missed a whole class graduate and not knowing the sophomores or freshman and just generally being ready to be done but consumed with anxiety.

    I'd say forget about all grad school plans for now. I have no doubt that you will be in grad school in a few years but hold off on the commitment of time and money until you really know what direction you're going.

    Don't think you have to know exactly what you want to do. I had no idea that what I'm doing now even existed when I was a senior.

    The next couple of years are a time for fun, friends, travel and coming into your own. They're also hard, not in ways you need to worry about now but just hang in there. Most of my closest friends are from this period in my life; it's one of the best times too.

    I've concluded that quality of life is essentially determined by how happy you in your professional work and how happy you are in your environment. Give some thought to WHERE you want to be and not just what you want to be doing. What cities do you think "fit" you, where will you find a good community, activities and opportunities that fulfill you, etc. It's not the perfect job if you'll be miserable in the place and vice versa. If anything, the community and fellowship you have are more important.

    You have obvious talents and strong passions, let them guide you. God gave you your interests and talents to use. If you ignore what you care most about, you won't be happy.

    And just pray. God already knows where you'll be next year and what grad program you'll do in the end. He'll let you know.

    And I'll just end with a plug for DC. It's awesome here!

  2. Ruth, your message absolutely made my day. What fabulous, thoughtful advice. That whole "radical trust" thing is so difficult to live out, but I'll keep your advice in mind and keep trying. I would love to end up in DC so I'll keep you posted on that. :) And may I ask, what happened to your blog? I can't seem to find the link to it for some reason...

  3. I'm on a bit of a radical trust high at the moment as God has been outdoing himself in providing for all of my needs recently, answering prayers before I've even asked. I was really forced to trust in order to make this move possible. I had to decline a job offer in Boston before having one here and I was very anxious about it. It ended up only being three days before it all worked out and I was really made aware of the lack of trust I had shown. I think a good motto in this area is, work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God. It always comes back to that interplay, faith and reason, God and us. I've really been contemplating the idea of the Christian life as an adventure and how we go through periods of blindness but once in awhile we're given the grace to see the plan God had for us all along and just marvel. You'll have to remind me of all of this next time I forget!