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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

University seniors celebrate final week together

After the grind of finals, Senior Week offered the class of 2017 one last chance to celebrate and spend time with friends and the Notre Dame community before graduating. The week featured a wide array of events planned for graduating students to participate in, as well as plenty of time for final goodbyes.

Senior Amelia Zepernick, chair of the Senior Class Council (SCC) committee for Senior Week, said the committee had been hard at work planning and scheduling the events since January.

“We took some traditional events — events that happen every year, like Commencement Ball and the [Chicago] Cubs game — but we also [planned] new events like Domerfest 2.0,” she said. “All the events we had planned by spring break.”

The committee took inspiration from Senior Week events in past years while planning the class of 2017’s Senior Week, Zepernick said.

“We’re continuing a lot of traditions that have had great responses in the past,” she said. “Some of the things that they did last year we’re continuing this year because they had a really good response. They added these really pretty stickers on the candles for the grotto visit, and they started Domerfest 2.0 last year, and we’re continuing that. I think that it’s really just the class that makes it different — events-wise, we’re doing a lot of the same things, but we’re putting our own little touches on it.”

Zepernick said she was most excited for Domerfest 2.0 in the Stepan Center, because the class of 2017 was the last class to experience Domerfest in the building as freshmen. She said she also values the unique nature of the week as a last chance for students to be with friends before starting their professional lives.

“I think it’s a really special tradition that Notre Dame has,” she said. “Not all schools have this sort of week where all the students stay on campus before graduation. I just think it’s a really special Notre Dame tradition.”

Senior Megan Toal said she planned on going to most of the events, including BabeTostal, Saint Mary’s formal, Commencement Ball, Bowling Night and others.

“I think it’s really important to just have one last hurrah with all my friends before we leave,” Toal said. “Just finals week is really rough because we have finals and we have to move out, but with Senior Week, we can focus on on our finals, and then focus on moving out and spending time with our friends afterward. I think it’s really important that we get this time with our friends because we’re a community — the Notre Dame family. Why not have one last big goodbye together?”

While ready to be done with the stress and work of being a student, Toal said she will miss the social aspect of college.

“I don’t think I’m going to miss being a student in terms of having exams and homework to do, but I think I’m just going to miss living so close to my friends,” she said. “In the end, I think I’m ready to move on, I’m ready to be a real adult and pursue my dreams and career.”

Senior Caroline Spencer, who planned on attending Domerfest 2.0, the Cubs game, Commencement Ball and the tour of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh’s office, also said she feels ready to graduate.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Spencer said. “I do feel ready to graduate and ready to move on to the next phase of my life, but I am going to miss Notre Dame a lot, and obviously all the people I’ve met here.”

Spencer said she encourages students to enjoy their college years and use the experience to learn more about themselves.

“If I could do it all again, I would have not stressed so much about school,” she said. “College isn’t just about learning information in the classroom, it’s about learning about the sort of person that you want to be in life. A lot of that growth happens when you’re having fun.”