5 Things To Know As A Freshman at Notre Dame

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5 Things To Know As A Freshman at Notre Dame

1. Go to Domerfest

Domerfest 2015

If you haven’t heard of it by now, you’re going to hear all about it soon. People LOVE to hate on Domerfest – what happens when you get a couple hundred people, most of whom have never met before, in a university controlled environment (read: with “no” alcohol) and tell them to mingle among board games, a DJ and other ice breakers? Awkwardness. There’s nothing else to call it. But should you skip Domerfest? OF COURSE NOT. Domerfest is like a war that you’ve all gone through together. The awkwardness will unite you as a class and when you’re all old alumni, you’ll talk about how horrible the experience was while secretly wishing you were back there because it meant you were starting at Notre Dame all over again.

Where is it?

Rolfs Sports and Recreation Facility

Saturday, August 22 – 10:30 pm – 1 am

2. Football is a big deal

Gameday at ND

Duh. You knew that, already. But whether September 5 will mark your first football game ever, or your 500th, Saturdays during the fall are packed with activities on campus even if sports aren’t your thing. If you aren’t into tailgating – but really…it’s free food, so even if you aren’t into drinking, make it out to the stadium lot and wander until you find an alumni who is just SO excited to be back that they hand you ribs or brats or whatever else they’re serving that day – you can find lectures on every subject under the sun from cancer research, to the art in the Basilica, to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And don’t forget to celebrate the day with the Band of the Fighting Irish at Concert on the Steps, Trumpets in the Dome, or the always-hilarious Saxes in the Stalls.

Where is it?

All over, but make sure you head to the first floor men’s restroom of the Main Building to watch the saxes confuse people by playing the greatest of all university fight songs in the bathroom.

3. Join a club

Join a Club

Your mom and the student affairs people aren’t being lame when they tell you this. It doesn’t matter WHAT it is, just make sure that you have a reason to meet people outside of your dorm and your classrooms. While the friendships you’ll make with the people you live near are without a doubt some of the best you’ll ever have, don’t let the random dorm assignment dictate your entire friend group. Ever wanted to learn to dance? Head to swing dancing in the Rock for a night to check it out. Always been into juggling? There’s a club for that. Want to know everything that’s going on on campus? Join the SwoopIn team as a campus rep (or join The Observer…). Whatever it is, just go out and explore.

Where is it?

Swing dance – the Rock; The Observer – SDH; SwoopIn crew – Cushing

4. Don’t ignore Club Hes

Club Hes - Hesburgh Libraries

Some nights you DO have to stay in and study, but don’t wait too long to explore the Hesburgh Library – and we don’t mean as part of the Hesburgh Challenge. From the best spots to study with views of campus, to the half-price baked goods from Au Bon Pain before it closes, to special collections and librarians who really and truly want to help you with your projects, it’s a great resource. Bonus – Knott, PE, PW and Seigfried won’t have to wander all the way around the building to get in in the winter when they open the North Entrance at the end of the month.

Where is it?

Obvi, Hesburgh

5. Do explore South Bend

Explore South Bend

It’s easy to get sucked into the Notre Dame bubble, but there are a lot of great opportunities in South Bend to have fun and give back that aren’t named Club Fever. The local Catholic Worker House is always in need of volunteers to help out and they welcome all to dinner at their house on South St. Joseph Street. Lasalle Kitchen and Tavern is a great way to pass an evening with live music and great beer (if you’re of age, of course). And Cambodian Thai has some of the best thai food in the Midwest and Flamingos offers $1 tacos on Sunday nights that are to die for.

Where is it?


What would you add to the list?

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