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Meg Pryor
Life > Experiences

Benefits of Dorm Life Part 2: Sophomore Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

Sitting on the first floor of Hesburgh library, one of my best friends from my dorm working diligently next to me, I think about how different dorm life will be next year. We’re going abroad different semesters. Actually, most of my best friends are going abroad the opposite semester I am. This has caused me to reflect on my dorm community’s evolving role as I’ve gone from being a freshman to a sophomore—and how it’s certain to change even more next year.

In October of my freshman year, I wrote the article The Benefits of Dorm Life For Freshmen. It is crazy to think that—even so early in my college experience—I was already wildly impressed by the cinderblock palace that is Welsh Family Hall (and the 2019 Women’s Hall of the Year!). My older sister Elizabeth, who is a senior here at Notre Dame, pulled me into the Whirlwind family, so I was familiar with the strong bonds that stem from this dorm. And from the moment I stepped on campus, I had the honor of experiencing it myself; not only in Welsh Fam, but also in the many other dorms spread across our beautiful campus.

Now that I’m a sophomore, I still value the benefits of dorm life; however, I view the dorm as one piece of the puzzle that illustrates my college experience. 

In my previous article, I addressed the concept of dorm pride—the thread that weaves the Notre Dame community into its separate yet unified pockets. I am both intrigued and impressed by the incredible depth of loyalty that people have towards their dorm given that the dorm assignments are random. With the exception of people being pulled into dorms where siblings reside or those students needing air conditioning because of allergies, what hall you end up in is all the luck of the draw. Fortunately for Notre Dame, the mysterious formula continues to work and Notre Dame students continue to gel with their dorms and their roommates.

I think the dorm-centered community works for Notre Dame because of the outgoing and kind nature of the Notre Dame students. They dive in, get involved and watch out for each other. I strongly believe that it’s the little things in life that can make the biggest impacts, so I apply this motto to the dorm community. Those small acts of kindness within our dorms are what create such a meaningful experience for many. It doesn’t matter how many people you know in the dorm or how many of those people you turn to when times get tough; what matters is that you create a welcoming, respectful and fun environment for others.

Having made some great friendships in Welsh Fam, I have also expanded my world to discover that there are many other amazing dorms on campus that are also full of incredible students. I love that I have very close friends in other dorms—it feels like I know more of the campus community. To have such a strong connection to one dorm while opening yourself up to friendships throughout campus feels like the best of both worlds; I can venture out to hang out with friends all over campus and then return to the comfort and familiarity of Welsh Fam. My community continues to expand, and my Notre Dame roots continue to deepen as I meet more people.

(Because this is an article about friendship, isn’t it obligatory that I include a gif from Friends? I think so. I know my friends who are reading this will laugh at me for finding an excuse to mention this show.)

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Meg Pryor

Notre Dame '22

Meg is an editor for the Notre Dame chapter. Major: Psychology Minor: Journalism