From Suburbs to City: Dear Small New England Liberal Arts College Week 7

Dear Small New England Liberal Arts College,

I will first start by saying that I truly respect your school and all the people that go there. Your town is adorable and you create a great environment for all who attend.

I am writing because I would like to thank you for the rejection email that you sent me. I had thought that you were the school I wanted to go to, that New England and swimming were my future. The potential of a future with you probably marked the only time in my life that I was not indecisive. But then you forced me on a new path, I suddenly had to go back to the drawing board and hem and haw over campuses until that day of May 1 came around.

Your rejection is on the list of the best things that has happened to me. Here I am living in my city on week 7 of my summer internship. An internship that I got by going to the Notre Dame Career Fair. Living with a roommate who is one of my best friends at Notre Dame. 

I would have never been a Science-Business major and discovered the world of Hospital Administration that I now find so fascinating. I would have never known what it was like to walk down the street and see someone with “The Shirt” on and strike up a conversation with them without it being totally weird.

I would not be Skyping my world-traveling friends in Dublin or China or on an SSLP in Miami, nor would I have the opportunity to go abroad myself.

I would have always thought I did not like running and would have laughed in your face if you told me I ran two half marathons. I would still think that my sport was a huge part of my identity or not know what an “out” was in flag football.

I would not know the Midwest winters are an entirely different breed from New England winters (that one I actually may not thank you for) or have had the conversation about the different names for soda (yes soda, not pop) so many times.

I am writing because I am so very happy with my Notre Dame life. A life, thanks to you, that I was propelled toward. I never saw myself in South Bend, Indiana. I only saw myself in a pool. I missed the big picture and did not know how much more was out there. I did not know what an incredible network of people I could fall into.

I am writing because I am so grateful for all the people that Notre Dame has put into my life. From my Game of Thrones loving roommate, to my foodie intern buddy, to my long distance friend, to my summer mentor--only to name a few of a very long list.

You helped me to explore my faith once more and discover what a church community can really be like and that pancakes taste best at 10:30 at night right after communion.

Thanks to you, I have been able to see beyond the “block” and understand what a network is. I have found that the connections never stop. Last week, I was taken out to eat twice, once by my old neighbors and then by my aunt’s sister. Why? Because they were in the area and they thought of me. I was afraid at first living in a city--alone in a city. I am so far from alone. Not only are there the other random Notre Dame kids that I run into and flag down on the streets due to their apparel (yes, this has happened twice), but there are people like my old neighbors who continue to care about me even though I may be many miles away.

Thanks to you my relationship with ND loving grandpa has grown so that I think I may be able to tell you his own stories by now. My knowledge of who I am and who I want to be has grown immensely.

So, small liberal arts college in New England, I am so happy you knew I would be better off somewhere else and I would not fit because I have found a great fit. I could not ask for a better fit. I owe you my first steps in the right direction towards a future filled with many many great people and experiences.

Maybe you were too smart for me after all.

 

Best of wishes to all of your awesome students.

 

Thank you with all my heart,

Mary   

 

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