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One of the greatest things I've learned being abroad is how much I love Notre Dame. And I don't mean it in the sense of I'm going to paint my house blue and gold, get tatoos all over my body, make it mandatory that my kids (in the future) attend Notre Dame... What I mean is Notre Dame has been a WONDERFUL experience for me. I love our campus size; I love how beautiful our campus is; I love how I can walk around by myself at any time of day, pretty much anywhere, and feel comfortable; I love our dorms; I love the opportunities that I've been presented with because I've been at Notre Dame. I've done things I know I'll never get another opportunity to do...I've met some of the most wonderful people that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I also love that we're a Catholic school...but a Catholic school, that, in my opinion, doesn't pressure you to have to be Catholic, but will support you if you are. I love having masses in the dorms, a breath-taking Basilica, and most importantly, one of the most beautiful and touching Grottos I've ever been to. Notre Dame is a place where I just really feel you can learn a lot about yourself and really grow if you take advantage of all there is around you. I wouldn't trade my time at Notre Dame for any other school.
Notre Dame is a small town with classes. It's different from the average university where at the end of 4 years you graduate with a degree, some good memories, and some great friends. At ND, you get all of that (along with a little chunk of debt if you're like me) one of the most prolific alumni networks in the country, and the stigma and prestige of the name Notre Dame. It's really interesting how people react to the name. It's a school you either love or hate, and rarely will you meet someone who is lukewarm. The bottom line about ND: The classes are hard, every other student has a varisty letter and a 3.5 GPA. You're held accountable for your actions in the world, but babied a bit for your actions on campus. You're stuck in a bubble, but only if you let yourself be so. "From the outside looking in you can't understand it and from the inside looking out you can't explain it."
Special Sauce Junior
Notre Dame is a great size, big enough so its always interesting, but not so big that it's overwhelming. The school spirit here is always high, and the students often five their all to everything that they do. The surrounding area of South Bend is not much to talk about, but has some fun bars (once you're 21). Going to Notre Dame opens a lot of doors outside of the classroom, and nearly everyone who hears "Notre Dame" is immediately impressed. The weather in the winter is probably the most common student complaint.
I think the best thing about Notre Dame is that virtually everyone here loves it here. So many people chose this university as their first choice, even over institutions such as the Ivies. Since everyone lives in dorms for the first couple of years, there is a real sense of community here. The school is just the right size; it is large enough that you can never get to know everyone, but small enough so that you will not feel like just another number. I am constantly meeting new people, but I also run into people I know all the time, at events, parties, the dining hall, or just walking around campus. The dorms are single-sex, which can be a blessing and a curse; it makes it significantly harder to become good friends with members of the opposite sex, but it also creates a sort of fraternity/sorority atmosphere. Single-sex dorms and especially parietals are probably the most heard complaints. (Parietals are a set of rules that mandate when students of the opposite sex can be in each others' dorms - not after midnight on weeknights and 2 AM on weekends.) The biggest thing that differentiates Notre Dame from other schools is the Catholic vibe. You have infinite opportunities to deepen your religious faith if you go here. I don't think I would be nearly as close in my relationship with God right now if I had not come to this school. The Catholic atmosphere is another factor in creating a close-knit sense of community. Also, Notre Dame is one of the top schools academically in the country, so students here spend a lot of time studying. This, of course, varies with what they are majoring in - business majors probably only study a few hours a week, while engineering majors usually study a few hours a day. Sport on campus are a big deal; we have probably the most storied sports tradition of any college, and the most spirited fans, alumni, and student body. This is one more reason why there is a real sense of community at ND.
I love Notre Dame for a viriety of reasons. The most important reason why I love Notre Dame is the people. Most students feel that they can be friends with just about anyone on campus. You really don't understand how special the student body is until your attending Notre Dame as a student and then visit other schools and realize that Notre Dame's student body is just special.
The best thing about Notre Dame is the community of people who make up the student body and staff. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and it makes Notre Dame a really fun place to be. People want to be here and they want to learn and grow and have fun and it shows! I think our campus is just the right size because it's not too big where you feel overwhelmed and alone, but not too small where you know everyone else's business and feel like you are constantly seeing the same people. Being from California, most people don't even know where Notre Dame is and don't understand why I would want to go to a school where there is snow and bad weather. People on the west coast or people who haven't heard of or visited Notre Dame in general just don't get it. They don't understand what an amazing place this school is and they don't understand how happy I am to be here. It would be nice if Notre Dame had a town to go with it, but South Bend is not really the nicest place and that is what makes the campus community even better. The campus is closed to the surrounding and there are no cars or streets running through it which makes you feel secure and safe. It is also nice because everything is easy to get to and all of the people you want to be with are within a reasonable distance. The farthest walk to any building on campus is probably 10-12 minutes which is really convenient. Notre Dame has more school pride than any place I have ever seen or heard of. I love the fact that by just going here you automatically belong and are part of a group that loves you and respects you. Tradition is a very important part of Notre Dame and it shows in many campus wide activities and sports. The dorms at Notre Dame are amazing, they are old and full of character, but still really nice to live in and each dorm has its own activities, dances and traditions which make everyone's dorm experience unique. The most frequent student complaints probably have to do with our rules, because Notre Dame is a Catholic University and has strict rules regarding members of the opposite sex in dorms and alcohol policies but in the bigger picture these are really only minor issues that students get over pretty quickly.
Betsy SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo