- Class: Junior
- Major: Business
- Gender: F
- High School: Gilbert High School (Gilbert, AZ) and Cedar Park High School (Cedar Park, Texas)
- Transfer Student: N
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."
Classes range in difficulty. Like any college you can find your "easy" classes, but if you want to be challenged intellectually Notre Dame can support that easily. Every student is required to take a freshmen year seminar. In these classes you get to know a small group of people very well, and get a break from the giant freshmen lacture classes. As you become an upperclassmen, classes get smaller and you get more individual attention. As a business student, I have found that the average ND student is more competitive with themselves than with others. There is a lot of teamwork in in the business and engineering schools. You are pushed academically, but in comparison to other schools, the competition is not cut throat. There is the occasional letdown with some intro classes. But at the same time, you do find a few gems. My theology seminar has so far been one of my favorite classes at ND. Also, as an ND student, you can take classes at Saint Mary's. However, it is a bit difficult to get the right credits for them.
The student body, just like at any university, is full of people different from yourself. There is a culture of unity at Notre Dame, but at the same time there are factions. Cultural clubs are opportunities for people to understand and learn about one another, from time to time, however, they become dividing lines that may seem difficult to cross. At the same time, if you want to, it is easy to mix into groups different from yours if simply through clubs, student council, or mutual friends. As far as class differences go, you will encounter people who have more money than they know what to do with and others who are barely scraping by. Though everyone seems to have more or less the same economic appearance, you will be surprised when you find out the truth about the range of incomes on the campus. Going to class you'll get sick of northface jacket after northface jacket, but will be happy that people dress pretty casually. Business students have an unofficial (but at times very strongly recommended by certain professors) dresscode. One thing about ND is that the male student life and female student life is quite different. The campus currently houses 27 (soon to be 28) single-sexed dorms. With something 80% of the student population choosing to live on campus, these dorms become a type of sorority or fraternity. Though the same rules are written for both men and women, you have different people upholding them in each dorm, and male dorms are overwhelmingly, and obviously more lax than female dorms. The school just became co-ed in the 70s so there are still hints of that "boys club" atmosphere.
The Best Things
How easy it is to feel at home. Trust me, I put up a good fight.
The Worst Things