This is the last full week of classes so you know the end of this academic year is about to end. This is a time when the weather is really beautiful and you want to be outside, but you have a lot of papers and tests to prepare for. Get your work done and reward yourself with little breaks in which you get outside. This is the time of the year when you need to be kind to yourself and to others.
There were three women who graduated last year who came to visit last Sunday. I asked them what advice they have for seniors who are graduating. They said that it would be good to take a “victory lap.” That is a common response, but the point of this is that it costs a lot of money to take another year.
What can you do then to get the most out of Notre Dame? I know that most people after graduation think about the relationships that had while on campus and that continue throughout your life time. I had a group of friends that I was close to for many years and we were present in many important events that we had. This includes weddings, ordination in my case, Baptisms, funerals and times when we had reunions.
There was a special event that occurred in my life and friends that reminded me of the importance of friendship. There was a picture that was taken of seven friends on the day of our graduation. We had lived in Alumni Hall and the picture was taken in the circle. It had a lot of meaning and 40 years after we had a mini reunion which included spouses. It was a great weekend in which we talked about are lives and we took another picture at the Alumni Hall circle. I bring this up because I want you to know that friends are what form community and make life very special.
There are many opportunities that all of you have to develop great friendships. A friend is a person who helps you become the best person you can be and you do the same for your friends. There are several qualities that contribute to friendship. Some of them are honesty, loyalty, encouragement, listening and you each make the other a better person.
How do you help each other become a better person? It is that you encourage each other, you suggest things to do that are good, you can be counted on to be present in good times and challenging times, you are trustworthy and you communicate.
I want to encourage all of you to spend quality time with your friends. Know that I am praying for you and that you will cherish your friendships.