Jimena - Ramazzini





Idaho Falls, ID

Growing and Adapting to a New Life

Dear first-year students and future first-year students, 

It is with great pleasure to welcome you all to your new home, to the University of Notre Dame. 

As you enter the life of a college student you will face new challenges and sometimes these challenges can make you lose sight of the amazing community that one has around them. While the University of Notre Dame emphasizes community building, it can still be challenging at times to not feel out of place, hopeless, or imperfect. Nevertheless, I have seen how the community at Notre Dame does a very good job of handling and minimizing this feeling for students. The unique thing about Moreau First-Year Experience is that it helps students learn how to manage this and view things with a clearer mind and a new lens. During the first half of the semester, Moreau helped me grow as a person within my faith. During the second half, I have grown in the way that I see situations with clarity and optimism. 

Most importantly through the Moreau Course First-Year Experience I have found myself. At Notre Dame, we are in a community where people are open to expressing their weaknesses. This has allowed me to stop comparing myself to others because I know everyone struggles here at different times. Being at a prestigious university can be a life-changing experience, but it can also be difficult to maintain hope when things do not turn out the way one expects them to. As a first-generation Latina woman in STEM, there are several stereotypes that society has placed which I have to overcome. As any college student, there are amazing days and terrible days. Sometimes, bad news can completely change the way one goes throughout their day and this has happened to me several times while being a student here. We can’t help but feel disappointed in ourselves when we are not able to meet the expectations we set for ourselves. Father Kevin Grove shared something that stood out to me and helped me view failures in a positive light. He wrote, “Let us not allow ourselves, then, to be discouraged by trials, no matter how numerous or bitter they may be. Afflictions, reverses, loss of friends, privations of every kind, sickness, even death itself, ‘the evil of each day,’ and the sufferings of each hour–all these are but so many relics of the sacred wood of the true cross that we must love and venerate” ("Excerpt from 'Basil Moreau: essential Writings' pp. 47-49" by Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C. and Fr. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C - Moreau FYE Week Eleven). 

The amazing thing about encountering this challenge at the University of Notre Dame is that the community revolves around love for oneself and love for others. Encountering failures and unexpected circumstances has been a part of my Notre Dame journey, but this has all led me to grow as a person, find myself and develop a new way of looking at the challenges I have to face.