Happy New Year and welcome back to Ryan Hall! We especially are happy to have our students who have returned from a semester abroad and our transfer students. It is good that we are all together.
This semester at Notre Dame is different from last in that we have more time to do things with each other. I feel that the Fall is when we have the home football weekends which takes on a life of itself. They are fun, but we do not have time to move at a slower pace. This is a semester which you can take advantage of many opportunities on campus as well as in South Bend.
You have a lot of extra time during this semester, but things can drag on and you can experience the winter blues. These cloudy days like this week do not help our moods. This is why we need a self care plan during the winter. I know it is hard to get up 6 when it is dark and cold to go out for a run. But we need to do it despite how much we complain about it. You can also go over to the McDonald Center at St. Liam’s for relaxation and stress relief.
The great thing about self care is that you can shape what you are doing. We need to remember that our lives are a gift from God and we are called to be stewards of our life. We can do things to develop and grow as people at the pace we set.
There is a temptation that I hope you will avoid. This is to allow the pressure of landlords or peers to get you to sign a lease for a house or apartment to live off campus during your senior year. Many of you will be going abroad first or second semester next year. You might think you have to do this now. You do not have to and there are some good reasons why you it is a bad idea. Some students have done it and gone abroad and make new friends. They would love to live with other people, but if you sign a lease now, you will find it difficult to get out of it. I am encouraging you to wait. You might even decide while abroad that you want to be an RA. My bottom line is to be careful in what you get yourself into now because it could ruin your senior year.
Let’s get together!
I want to put out an invitation to everyone in Ryan. I like to go to Starbucks and would love to meet Ryan residents for coffee and conversation. I have loads of Flex points and do not want to lose them at the end of the semester. Feel free to let me know if you or a friend would like to go. There is nothing like coffee, tea or water for a good conversation.
Know that I am happy you are here and I am praying for you.