Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#86: Being Overly Proud of Their Original ID

When Notre Dame Students first arrive on campus at the beginning of Freshmen Orientation, their pictures are taken and quickly made into student ID cards that will be used throughout their time as students.  These IDs are used to enter dorms, scan for meals at the dining halls, get into football games and other events, identify themselves to overzealous NDSP officers, and purchase food with Flex Points and Domer Dollars.  IDs, therefore, are an incredibly important (yet underrated) part of student life.

While their look is fairly typical and unimpressive, the original incarnation of a student’s ID is one that most Notre Dame Students are incredibly proud.  Not only does a student’s original ID card retain their picture as they were at the beginning of their freshmen year: a time before they drank too much Keystone Light, were still intending to major in engineering, and had never considered travel to Africa (see #12, #70, and #1); but because the University feels the need to incessantly change the style of Student ID’s, their ID can also look like a relic of Notre Dame’s past.

Because of their importance in day-to-day life, Notre Dame Students always carry their ID with them; an act which allows many opportunities to lose or break them.  Student IDs are often lost by being drunkenly left at Reckers (see #14), stolen by muggers on the walk back to campus from Club 23, or simply lost in the disaster of a ridiculously messy dorm room.  Likewise, IDs can be broken out of commission when they are snapped in half by overly aggressive dining hall swipers or faded to the point of illegibility while going through the laundry.

With all of the hazards in the way of success, students that keep their original ID for all four years are immensely proud of their accomplishment.  Not only does it show how better they are than their peers when it comes to not losing or breaking things, but it also means that they have a tangible ID that might look significantly different in style and format than the IDs of the majority of the student body. 

Furthermore, if a student still has his or her ID when they graduate, they will make sure to use it for a variety of functions even though the reverse side clearly invalidates it on the day of their commencement.  Recent graduates will use their IDs to get into the student section at football games, basketball games, and pep rallies as they attempt to extend their years as students.  They will also continue to use their IDs as they visit places around the country and world to get discounted prices for commuter trains, movies, and museum exhibitions.

Overall, however, Notre Dame Students will be most proud of keeping their original ID for sentimental purposes.  They will remember it as the item that got them meals and access to their home during their four years; and they will look at the picture of their freshmen-selves and remember all of the great things they did in the four years since they were given their original ID.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

#85.5: Things Notre Dame Alumni Like

1.       Complaining about the football team, regardless of what happens on the field
2.       Threatening to halt donations
3.       Hiring ND Students
4.       Reminiscing about the bars at five corners
5.       Complaining about Tom Hammond and Pat Haden
6.       Getting indignant about losing catholic identity
7.       Using the word ‘draconian’ to describe University policies
8.       Dorm mass after football games
9.       The Sorin Society and other donation based organizations
10.    Talking about how they couldn’t get into ND if they applied today
11.    Ara Parseghian
12.    Knowing the lyrics to now-obscure school songs
13.    Buying property in South Bend
14.    Complaining about the football schedule
15.    Vanity license plates
16.    Talking about the quarterback from the year they graduated
17.    Being quiet during football games while complaining about a lack of noise in the stadium
18.    Rocco’s
19.    Pep Rallys (both talking about how awesome they used to be in the old Fieldhouse and actively contributing to the modern incarnation being significantly less awesome)
20.    Monogram sweater-vests
21.    Hoping their local city hosts an off-site game, and then complaining about the existence of the off-site games
22.    Playing catch with their children on South Quad
23.    Lamenting the loss of the University Club
24.    Being randomly generous to current students
25.    Having their kids attend the University of Notre Dame

Monday, May 3, 2010

#85: Networking

One of the reasons why Notre Dame is such a highly touted institution is because of its extensive and successful alumni network.  Unlike most schools, the Notre Dame Alumni Network spreads across the country and around the world with 267 local clubs in cities ranging from Topeka to Beijing.  Because of this, many students and alumni alike cherish the alumni network as one of the most important assets of a Notre Dame Education.

Notre Dame Students like the alumni network and all of the networking opportunities that come with it because they are incredibly focused on their future careers.  For Notre Dame Students, everything they do is based on the next step, and decisions are judged by their impact in the long term as opposed to the short term.  Students understand that their future success will not only be based on how well they do on tests and papers, but on how well they utilize their time at the school to make connections and open opportunities for themselves.

With this in mind, Notre Dame Students look to all places and times for opportunities to network with alums.  Students walk through tailgating lots before football games introducing themselves to alums by touting the highlights of their résumé.  Describing their major, recent jobs, and maybe some research experience; Notre Dame Students treat their tailgating revelry not only as a chance to get some free food and beer from alums, but as an important opportunity to expand their network.

Similarly, when Notre Dame Students leave campus and go to different parts of the country (particularly the bars of Chicago’s north side), they wear so much ND apparel that they act as walking advertisements for the school.  While they partly do this because of their unmatched pride; they mainly do it as an means to strike up conversations with Notre Dame Alums and supporters in all of the places they go.  Notre Dame Students know that any conversation with any person can lead to the future of their dreams.

Finally, Notre Dame Students relentlessly use the traditional channels to expand their network.  They send emails to professionals in their field that contain coded questions that don’t explicitly ask for any help with a career (but implicitly ask the professionals for jobs).  They attend meetings at any hour of the day with professionals that come to campus in order to network.  Notre Dame Students attend the career fair as if it was the sole reason why they attended the University; and they will wear their class rings (see #37) as if the employers could forget what school they are visiting.

Once they have networked every possible connection for their career path, Notre Dame Students meticulously send emails at regular intervals to all of the people they have connected with.  They send them holiday greetings, congratulate them on achievements, and notify them of their own achievements all in an effort to stay contacted with their vast and endless network.  Sometimes these efforts will be in vain; but more often than not, Notre Dame Students are wildly successful in their networking, and end up utilizing it to start themselves off on the career path of their dreams.