A Notre Dame Bucket List by a Sentimental Senior



Hey readers! My name is Dinuka, and I am quite honestly shocked to introduce myself as a senior at Notre Dame. I remember reading Her Campus Notre Dame before being a student here, and I am thrilled to now be a part of HCND my senior year. These past three years have flown by insanely fast. I slapped the “Play like a Champion Today” sign, met people I never talked to again at the infamous Domerfest, walked on God Quad immediately after my second theology final, eaten Reckers’ pizza (R.I.P.) at the wee hours of the morning, attended the blissfully chaotic PigTostal, done my fair share of touchdown push-ups, performed Bollywood dances at Asian Allure, commemorated Final Feve (also R.I.P.), pulled plentiful all-nighters in the library, partook in festivities at Carol Christmas, finished a night or two at Nick’s Patio, studied abroad in London, asked a boy out to a SUB movie at DPAC, laughed with friends at Keenan Revue and consumed one too many Quarter Dogs from The Huddle. However, I still have one year to go, and lots to do before I graduate! Check out my bucket list for inspiration when you have some time to kill at any point throughout your Notre Dame journey. 

  1. 1. Attend Drummer’s Circle

    I know, I should’ve done this one already. On Friday at midnight of home football weekends, the Notre Dame drumline gathers in front of the dome and hypes up fans for the game the next day. It’s a well-known tradition I haven’t gotten around to yet, but one I think is special enough to be worth the trek. 

  2. 2. Explore the Rare Books and Special Collections in Hesburgh Library

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked by the Rare Books and Special Collections room on the first floor/lobby of the library. Their website states, “Our collections offer more than 132,000 volumes of printed books and periodicals and over 6,000 linear feet of non-book materials including manuscripts, printed ephemera, broadsides, prints, posters, numismatics, and philately.” To be honest, I’m not sure what a lot of those words mean, but they sound intriguing. They even have a blog which highlights items in the collection, including the first edition of an important work on astronomy by the early modern Jesuit polymath, Athanasius Kircher; a first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818); volume three of Friedrich Sylburg’s authoritative Greek edition of Aristotle’s works (1584); a 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du contrat social which contains marginalia by revolutionary Elizabeth Ann Seton; the first American edition of Moby Dick (1851); a text by Florentine Giovanni de Bardi (1580) on the rules of calcio, an early form of football; and so much more. 

  3. 3. Build a Boat and Race in Fischer Regatta

    Racing in a homemade boat with friends against other students across St. Mary’s Lake (and potentially drowning)? Count me in! Fischer Hall’s signature event, The Fischer Regatta, is an exhilarating Notre Dame tradition many students partake in that never fails to draw crowds to the lake every year in late April. All proceeds go to St. Adalbert’s Catholic School in South Bend, which has successfully been able to renovate their gym floor and several of their classrooms. I’ve never constructed a boat, but I suppose this is the year to do it! #yagottaregatta

  4. 4. Run the Holy Half Marathon

    Another Notre Dame classic. The most I’ve run is a 5K, so this will definitely be challenging but probably super rewarding after completing the race. Some students train all year for this event, while others run the race with no training whatsoever. It’s a fun time all-around, and the race benefits the South Bend community at large. I’ll start training eventually (or not).

  5. 5. Explore Dorm Food Sales 

    Multiple dorms have their own food sales. Knott Hall has a variety of options throughout the week; my favorite is their ramen on Friday knights called “Knotty Noodles.” But there are many others I hadn’t heard of until I started making this bucket list that I want to try. Morrissey Manor hosts Yaz’s, which serves mac-n-cheese, pork sliders, shakes, and more. Fisher Hall features Ellie’s Deli, which names some of their menu items after current and former residents. McGlinn sells baked goods at their Snack Shack for a dollar or less. Looking for pizza? Try Alumni’s Dawg Pizza, Keenan’s Za-Land, O’Neill’s Spanky’s, Siegfried’s Siegfried Pizzeria or Zahm’s Za. Farley’s specialty is their waffles

    Most dorms have socials after mass with food, too. This includes, but is not limited to, milkshakes, muffins, waffles, monkey bread and many more treats that this helpful Notre Dame Magazine article highlights.

  6. 6. Branch Out

    While making memories with my incredible friends this last year, I would like to also engage with people I don’t normally talk to. The Notre Dame community is one I won’t be around for much longer, and there are some incredible people here I’d like to get to know.

    Don’t know how to meet people? The Student Activities Office (SAO) is a place to start; visit their website to join organizations you may have missed your freshman year Student Activities Night. Look for events that interest you on [email protected] weekly emails, and people with similar interests will likely be attending those events. Chat with people in your classes, at games, around your dorm and at social gatherings. They probably want to get to know other people too! Someone has to make the first move (this applies to dating too). 

  7. 7. Take Part in the First Snowball Fight

    Every year as the first snowfall of the frigid winter season begins, students emerge from their dorms and head over to the quads for a huge, campus-wide snowball fight between rival quads. I’ve witnessed it when walking to the library to study for an exam but never actually taken part in this experience. Y’all are going down this winter. 

  8. 8. Visit Duck Island

    Somewhere around St. Joseph’s Lake is a strip of cement with a seemingly pointless gate you can walk around to get to Duck Island which overlooks the lake. I’ve passed by this bizarre landmark countless times but never tried venturing beyond the fence.

  9. 9. Attend the Highlander Highrise or Yacht Dance

    For their annual formals, Duncan Hall rents out the 99th floor of the Willis Tower and the 103rd SkyDeck floor, and St. Edward’s rents out a yacht on Lake Michigan in Chicago. Meanwhile, my dorm most recently had their formal in South Dining Hall. Highlanders and Stedsmen, I’m coming for you. 

  10. 10. Complete the Hesburgh Challenge

    Not going to expand on this one, but I’ll probably give it a shot. 

  11. 11. Walk up the Steps of the Main Building

    Legend has it that walking up these steps will prevent you from graduating. Technically I've already done this when I joined students at the sit-in protesting the senior exclusion policy, but it was for good reason. I’d like to reclaim the steps of the main building when I graduate and take cute pictures with champagne or whatnot. We earned those steps!


Things I do not particularly feel like doing but you may endeavor to check off your bucket list:

  • Walk around the lakes with someone you’re interested in (bonus points for holding hands). Doing so apparently ensures that you will get married. 

  • Kiss under Lyon’s Arch. Also ensures marriage? I’m not really sure. 

  • Explore the alleged network of tunnels underground that connect buildings to each other. 

Other suggestions: 

  • Study in the law library at least once – it’s beautiful. 

  • Browse the carefully curated artwork at The Snite.

  • Nap in the DeBart lounge between classes. 

  • Only go to ABP one hour before it closes so you get ½ price baked goods.

  • Use the Smith Center gym in Duncan. Duncan Student Center was built while I was here, and it is quite the addition. 

  • Check out the helpful resources the University Counseling Center has to offer. 

  • Watch some films in DPAC. Student ticket pricing is pretty inexpensive. 

  • Venture out into South Bend (Cambodian Thai is a MUST). 

Have fun, and make the most of your time here! Four years go by faster than you think.