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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

My journey began with a simple phone call

I can still remember the date and where I was.
It was May 6, 2009 when I received a phone call from admissions counselor LeShane Saddler. For the previous month, I had badgered him with emails, letters and phone calls of my own expressing my desire to go to Notre Dame after being placed on the waiting list.
When I picked up the phone, he identified himself and asked if I still wanted to attend Notre Dame.
I said, "Yes, absolutely."
He asked if I would commit right then if a spot were hypothetically offered.
I said, "Yes, absolutely."
Then LeShane told me that Notre Dame would like to offer a spot in its class of 2013 to me.
All the sudden, I was lost for words and started crying tears of joy - something I have no shame in admitting.
After a few seconds of silence on the phone, LeShane asked if I was still on the line. I mustered up the strength to respond and tell him that I of course accept the offer.
The dream I had spent my entire life working toward had been achieved.
Many times, our vision of a goal is inaccurate, or skewed by our desire. Many times, we realize our perception of what we wanted so desperately does not align with its reality.
After spending four memorable years here, I can proudly say that was not the case at Notre Dame. My expectations were grand, but my experience was even grander.
Looking back at that day a little more than four years ago when I received the phone call, I never could have imagined that the Notre Dame experience would include as much as it has for me.
I never would have predicted becoming dorm president, covering a national championship game, traveling to Ireland or meeting the incredible people I've developed friendships with the past four years.
When I was home for Easter, my aunt asked me how I felt about the looming graduation date and departure from Notre Dame. After telling her I wanted it to slow down because the time has flown by too quickly, her reply stuck with me this past month:
"It's a good thing that it went so quickly, because that means you've truly enjoyed it."
And that is truly the case.
It turns out the vision I had for Notre Dame before becoming a student wasn't entirely accurate. A college admissions pamphlet can only include so much, instead it's the shape your four years take - and the spontaneous moments within that timeframe - that make it so memorable and rewarding.
As much as you try to plan out your future, it's the unexpected journey  - and occasional phone call - that remain with you.
Andrew Owens is graduating with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He would like to thank his family for all of their love, support and sacrifices. He would also like to thank all of his friends, especially those at Carroll Hall, for an unforgettable four years. Andrew can be reached at
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.