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Thank You

I’ve procrastinated writing this for several days amidst a whirlwind of a senior week, a surreal commencement, and a week-long adjustment back to the rainy East Coast punctured by Facebook notifications alerting almost everyone that my white mortarboard tassel was positively out of control for the duration of graduation.

The misbehaving tassel, captured.

If there is one deeply held conviction with which I am leaving Notre Dame, it is this: No one looks quite right in academic regalia. I hazard a guess that the billowing black robes required for participation in commencement exercises are meant to visually convey the overwhelming feelings engulfing all graduates as they prepare to leave their home, their alma mater, for the last time as students and as rightful proprietors of campus.

Mortarboards flung with great abandon are equally exciting and frightening.

Similarly, over the course of these last two weeks, many people have been lavishing another overwhelming word upon me: Congratulations.

It’s de rigueur, it’s easy, and it gets the job done: Congratulations you did it.

But I think it’s misplaced … or at least a tad unsettling. I haven’t really done anything to merit congratulations; I’ve merely been a lucky student. Instead, I think I should be the one preemptively saying “thank you.”

I got to spend four precious, tumultuous, and triumphant years alternating between languidly strolling and hurridly scuttling between some of the world’s most beautiful university quadrangles. I enjoyed evenings with renowned scholars at their homes, in Starbucks, and in Decio drinking in their original research and stirring up debate. I got to plan my life, schedule, and academic interests entirely at my own leisure. I was challenged daily by wonderful, talented, and passionate peers and even better friends to value and promote kindness far more than obtaining academic credentials. I watched a weathered and dismissed city hoist itself up in a resurgence of local culture and energy to put on events bringing South Bend and the university, both residents and students, together.

And most importantly to me, I found myself deep in the trenches of a very new and very exciting journalistic endeavor at Notre Dame. HCND continuously inspired, humbled, and intimidated me as I worked to display across HCND’s home page the unparalleled work ethic, wit, and empathy of an incredible team of young women.

I’ve been lucky. And so I want to extend a few thank-you’s.

Thank you, HCND. You’ve made my dreams come true … and helped me find employment.  

Thank you, readers. You have taken time out of your hectic, awesome, and lucky undergraduate schedules to peruse the site. We hope we’ve given you content that celebrates your interests and assuages your fears. You’ve meant the world to me.

As Katie and I head off to DC (for collegiette Domers stick together), I am so excited to watch Sara and Katrina chart HCND’s new course. They will achieve more than I’m capable of doing or dreaming.

It’s been a wild ride. I will miss you all dearly.

Love thee, HCND.

And our hearts forever. 

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AnnaLee Rice

Notre Dame

AnnaLee Rice is a senior at the University of Notre Dame with a double major in Economics and Political Science and a minor in PPE. In addition to being the HCND Campus Correspondent, she is editor-in-chief of the undergraduate philosophy research journal, a research assistant for the Varieties of Democracy project, and a campus tour guide.  She believes in democracy and Essie nailpolish but distrusts pumpkin spice lattes because they are gross. 
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