Sean Paul - Martin

Sean Paul




New Orleans, LA

Transition From New Orleans to South Bend

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.” -Mark Twain. Coming to Notre Dame was a step I did not necessarily want to take; one that Mark Twain is speaking of in this excerpt. Upon arrival, I was elated to be present on campus but frightened at the uncertainty of what was to come. Coming from New Orleans, a city hundreds of miles away, a seamless personal transition of such great magnitude held much ambiguity, and unfortunately, is oftentimes unlikely. Nonetheless, I am fortunate to state that my first college semester at Notre Dame has been nothing short of special and magical. Throughout these initial four months, I have encountered much good and bad, which all, in turn, promoted personal growth. It was, in fact, magical, but not in the sense of a college life serenading me with pixie dust as I lollygagged around campus. Rather, it has been extraordinarily special as it pertains to how drastically I have developed as a person.

To begin, my first truly negative experience was my personal encounter with imposter syndrome. I entered the school year with the perception that I was not up to par with the best students here. Particularly as I sat in my first lectures, it seemed as if I was not understanding the material while everyone around me was. This was a terrible feeling in light of striving for academic validation my entire life. However, as time went on, it was made apparent that this was not the reality, but rather just my false perception. It was not until I took the first Calculus midterm that I scored exceedingly higher than the average of the class which convinced me that I can truly compete at Notre Dame. At this point, I developed full awareness of my intellectual capability at the school. 

Moreover, as time progressed, college life steadily became duller. Assignments stacked up, relationships began to falter, and thus, the stress began to seek in. Most shamefully, the relationship that was most in turmoil was the one I had with God. When being completely honest with myself, it was the full autonomy I received from college that inclined my relationship with God to dwindle. Nevertheless, it was through Week Ten’s Moreau assignment that I was able to navigate through this and, since then, have dramatically grown in prayer and accountability. Today, I am attaining a relationship with God that is greater than the one I possessed before.

Overall, my time at Notre Dame, even within these just short four months has been remarkable. I encountered bumps and hills throughout, but they enabled me to remain on the same road and even expedited the travel to my end destination in life. Thus, I am beyond eager for what is yet to come and extremely appreciative of what has.