Dear ND Game Day: A letter from a student abroad

Dear ND Game Day,

Looks like it is finally time for you to come back. The sadness that comes with the end of summer is quickly brushed away by the excitement of football. While I am abroad this semester and do not get to experience football on campus, I would do anything to have the best of both worlds and to be in two places at once. Unfortunately, however, that is not possible. So, while I am away, I would like to express my thoughts to you about how amazing you make this time of year.

Every home game is a new adventure. The Friday before, campus is electric. There are pep rallies, tons of visitors and alums on campus, and the atmosphere is contagious. For the first few home games, the weather is still nice, and it really feels like fall. The beauty of  campus proves that all of those landscaping workers that magically appear a few days before game day did their job well. Everyone seems happy to be there, and you can’t ask much more of a college campus.

Game days themselves are a unique experience. Waking up in the morning and sacrificing sleep to put on my ND shirt and  go to tailgates with friends and their families is sometimes difficult, but definitely worth it. Seeing and meeting tons of people all over campus that are cheering for ND puts a smile on my face for the whole day.

The start of the game is where the real fun begins. My friends and I somehow always end up uncomfortably squished together, which is good for body heat during the last few games of the season, but not so much in August! I think these games are the only time in my life where I will willingly stand up for four hours straight and not complain. The excited atmosphere is continuous, even as the sun goes down. I can tell you the fight song and all of the cheers by heart and can probably hum every tune the band plays. I will miss the third quarter cheer and the cheesy joke about safe driving. I will miss putting my arms around the strangers near me to sing the alma mater.

ND Game Day, you bring together an already great community and focus it on something even more special. While being abroad is one of the greatest opportunities I will ever have, I will most definitely miss experiencing this season on campus.

While the FOMO (fear of missing out) is too real, I do wish you the best this season. Make those of us who can’t cheer you on at home proud. Go Irish.

Love,

A student abroad

Photos: 1, 2; 3 and 4 provided by author

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