Eddie - Mayor





Grow as I Go

The Notre Dame experience has undoubtedly transformed my mind and heart. The encounters I have daily teach me how to be a better man. Being at Notre Dame has helped me understand that change is inevitable, and there is no weakness in altering your beliefs. Because I know this, I am constantly evolving. My values change after a deep interaction; my beliefs change after a stirring sermon; my opinions change after a riveting book. I am a mosaic of everyone and thing I have encountered. These encounters have helped me learn how to be an ally to underrepresented minorities. During the Black Lives Matter protests, I often wondered how I – a Caucasian teenager – could make a difference. I knew I was not racist, but I also knew that was not enough. Christopher J. Devron wrote, “White people don’t get a moral pass by simply refraining from overtly racist acts. Rather, they must examine racial biases within systems; reflect on how they participate in and benefit from these biases, and then take deliberate action to change them.” The first step to making a difference is recognizing privilege. It is my responsibility to understand intimately that I have benefited from the system that was designed by white people. I then need to help others realize this as well. I need to examine implicit biases that cross my mind and correct them. Correcting others’ implicit biases is just as important – even if it means having awkward conversations. It is my moral responsibility to continue to educate myself and others on how to be an ally to underrepresented minorities.

Since the start of my journey here at Notre Dame, my appreciation for self-confidence and growth has increased considerably. When I was initially accepted into Notre Dame, I experienced severe imposter syndrome. This feeling of unworthiness intensified once I arrived on campus. I constantly compared myself to my classmates and wondered why I was chosen to study with the world’s most spiritually and emotionally curious students. After researching and discussing imposter syndrome with my classmates in Moreau, I discovered that almost every student feels undeserving occasionally; yet, discussion on the topic is taboo in academia. It was not until I completed the week nine writing activity that I realized how important confidence is. Mental health advocate Julia Hogan has recently said that the only expectations we should strive to meet are our own. Not only does she emphasize the toxicity of self-comparison, but she also highlights the importance of grit. A tactic I use to combat imposter syndrome is self-affirmations. Whenever I fall victim to imposter syndrome’s effects, I walk to the Grotto and pray. On my journey from Duncan Hall to the Grotto, I indulge in the campus’s captivating beauty. I appreciate the basilica’s gothic architecture and admire the dome’s overwhelming historical significance. Each time, I am reminded that I have a purpose here at Notre Dame, and it truly is my home under the dome.