Sara’s Final Take: Four Years Down, A Lifetime Yet to Go

Sara Oligny
Sara Oligny

This is my last ever college newspaper article.

It’s a strange thing to think about, being done with school. When you do something nearly every day for 18 years of your life, it goes past being habitual.

Being a student is part of who you are. Learning new things every day becomes something you get used to, and sometimes take for granted.

While I did not always appreciate what Notre Dame College had to offer, I certainly will not forget or take for granted what the experience has given me.

I arrived here in 2011 after spending two aimless years in community college. I had no goals or ambitions before I arrived here and was doing the bare minimum to keep from failing.

When I arrived for my tour at Notre Dame, they told me all about the theatre program and choir scholarships that could help pay my way. I would be able to perform again and receive compensation for that hard work.

I was excited to go to school again for real, which hadn’t happened since my senior year of high school.

Dr. Eileen Quinlan, professor of English and communication, became my academic advisor. She suggested to me that I start with an English major and minor in performing arts.

I will be eternally grateful to her for these suggestions as doing so helped me to decide on what exactly it is that I wanted for my future.

Not only did Dr. Quinlan help me to (finally) decide on a major, but she also pushed me both in classes and in extracurriculars.

She suggested I try going to a newspaper meeting. It took me awhile to get there, but I did it. And I will always be happy that I did.

Through Notre Dame News I met several people whom I never would have met. Being a theatre minor, I only knew one group of people.

At the newspaper I was able to get a whole other perspective on the college while also discovering a love for writing.

While Notre Dame has given me a lot over the years, I would also like to point out that there is quite a bit they could do to improve the college experience.

It is a common notion that being at Notre Dame is essentially like being in an extremely expensive high school. There are cliques, I’ve heard of cases of online bullying and classroom rules such as “no eating” are enforced by certain professors.

Additionally, the campus is pretty bleak when it comes to having activities worth attending.

Lastly, for a liberal arts college, Notre Dame is lacking in the arts.

I was able to finish my theatre minor in one year, after taking the few classes that were available. The art students do not have an actual gallery to display their work, but instead share a space with the entire surrounding community.

While I do not like to complain, I know for a fact that if I had more available to me in the way of arts, I would have had a much better experience.

It seems to me that, in the school’s haste to build up enrollment and recognition, they have been catering only to a certain demographic.

In order to create a liberal environment that heeds the mission statement, you need to be able to open your doors to different types of people with different talents and ambitions.

I’m not saying that this is a terrible school or that I had an awful experience. I enjoyed my years here, and I have learned a lot.

However, I do hope that my goodbye letter to the newspaper will open the eyes of those who read it—and help all of you recognize that there is always room for improvement.

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