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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

Some positive thoughts

I’ve never stress-eaten so many snacks or felt so isolated, annoyed and very uncertain! Coming back to school for my fourth and final year wasn’t quite what I, or anyone else, expected. It’s become so easy for me to get caught up in the negativity of things, and I’m noticing a lot of my conversations with friends lately have grown increasingly full of rants and frustrations.

I do want to recognize it hasn’t all been bad! Of course, there is value in commiseration — I appreciate my friends for letting me do so. And by no means am I suggesting how one should feel emotionally during this time. But, if there’s nothing I can do about these circumstances, I don’t want to simply let the year pass by me.

Lately, I’ve been doing some small things to help me connect with my friends in safe ways. Though it’s hard to meet people in large groups, I’m finding appreciation in the ability to have one-on-one time with individuals, as we enjoy a meal together outdoors, something I’ve never really done much of before. I like that the weather has been relatively nice enough for us to eat outside, and the fact that we get to be in the presence of friends at all — after being sent home so abruptly last year — are all certainly things to be thankful for.

Personally, I enjoy doing a little bit of calligraphy for fun, so my first few weeks back have also consisted of writing some cute letters to my friends. It’s given me a creative opportunity to reminisce on the past three years I’ve shared with them at Notre Dame and to wish them the best of luck as we conclude our last year together.

With some cute stationery and an embossing tool that’s been collecting dust in the back of my closet since my freshman year, I’ve been cheering myself (and hopefully the recipients, too) with this nostalgia-inducing craft. Basically, while I do love a good rant session, it is tiring. It’s emotionally draining to have all my conversations start trending downward into ones of perpetual gloom… and in the long-run, they haven't been the best source of support to go into this year with.

I have no cure to permanently fix any of the sadder emotions we may be feeling lately, and I’m not even suggesting for anyone to necessarily do the things I’ve mentioned above. I’m just ready to share some of the more positive things that I’ve enjoyed, however small.

So rant, cry, laugh — do whatever you have to do! Just know that I will be sending healthful, positive thoughts to anyone reading this today!

You can contact Diane at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.