Home Football SZN is OVER… What Now?!

November 23rd marked a sad day in the lives of Notre Dame students and our 80,000 best friends (a.k.a. home football game attendees). It was the end of the home season. The end of a seven-Saturday devotion to the Irish over everything else. 

If you’re anything like me, your game weekend probably looked something like this:

I don’t have any classes on Friday, but I usually have homework due at 5 p.m. So, naturally, I started it at 9 a.m. and worked until I turned it in. Then at 5, it was time to eat dinner and get ready for gameday. 

This usually meant hanging out with my friends late into the night and not falling asleep until the early hours of Saturday morning. Then, it was time to wake up early and hit the parking lots for tailgating. 

After hours of pre-game socializing, the actual game began and as soon as it was over (or as soon as I got too cold and tired and had to leave), it was time to hang out with friends again! 

By the time Sunday finally rolled around, my only goal was homework. Once it was done, it was time to go to sleep until I woke up on Monday and began the week and the process allllll over again.  

As you can see (or already know from seven weekends of experience), home games take over your life. 

So, what do we do with our lives now that they’re gone?!

  1. 1. We sleep. Duh.

  2. 2. We reconnect with ourselves.

    When I’ve been excessively busy for several months (which I have, thanks to school and football and school and football and…) it’s easy to grow out of touch with my needs. I forget to acknowledge how tired I am or how much I need to do a face mask. I forget to write in my journal or read a book for fun. With all of these free weekends, I’m making it a goal to spend a little more time on me. I’m going to relax more and it’s going to be wonderful.

  3. 3. We cheer for the WOMEN!!!

    ND women’s basketball is amazing and we just spent seven weeks rooting for the boys, so it’s time to support our girls. The season goes until February, so there’s plenty of time to catch a game.

  4. 4. We try new things with our friends!

    Football weekends are fun, don’t get me wrong, but they have a way of making our social lives a little repetitive. We get into a habit of doing the same thing every weekend; and when they end, it’s easy to wonder what comes next. But, this is the time to expand social horizons and do exciting, spontaneous things! The next few items are some suggestions.

  5. 5. We go ice skating!

    South Bend just opened a brand new skating pond and trail in its revamped Howard Park, so now you can spend the day skating around outside for just $10. If indoor skating is more your speed, walk on over to the Compton Family Ice Arena during free-skate time and you can get your skate on for just $6.

  6. 6. We cook!

    At the beginning of the year, my BFF and I went to the store and bought a bunch of ~healthy~ ingredients to fill our “baking bag.” A few times a month, we break it out and make up recipes for protein cookies and vegan pumpkin bread and all sorts of other fun things. It’s so much fun to hang out with friends in the kitchen and to have a yummy treat to enjoy afterwards! It’s also a great way to get out of the dining hall rut. If you can’t get to the store to buy ingredients or you’re trying to have fun on a budget, you can always hack the system and make 3-ingredient banana, oat and chocolate chip cookies (swipe 2 bananas and a cup of chocolate chips from the dining hall and 1.5 cups worth of oatmeal packets from grab-n-go, mix it all together and bake 1-inch balls of your dough at 350 for 8-12 minutes!).

  7. 7. We have sleepovers!

    Even if your friends all live in the same dorm, it can still be fun to throw it back to middle school with some good old-fashioned slumber party fun. Break out the face masks and the popcorn and throw a bunch of blankets on your dorm room floor. No need to brave the cold to have a good time—just spend the night in with your besties!

  8. 8. Did I mention that we SLEEP?!!!

As the year comes to an end, make the most of these last few weeks and enjoy your life without football. :)