23 Takeaways from the Class of ’23

Seniors give advice to underclassmen

As a person at NDB: 

1. Get involved with different activities- find smaller communities within the larger NDB community because a bond with teammates or club members can truly make your NDB experience.

2. You are never too cool for Aquacades, embrace the spirit and the goofiness of it.

3. Be a good friend to everyone you meet. A simple greeting in the hallway can improve someone’s day, and you never know what people are going through, so show kindness and compassion to everyone.

4. Step out of your comfort zone, do not be afraid to try something new. Notre Dame is unique in that you do not have to have years of experience in order to play a sport, so take advantage of the opportunity.

5. To find good friends, you must be a good friend.

6. Say thank you and be kind to everyone. To your teachers, parents, friends, and to yourself. It is easy to take all of the opportunities at NDB for granted, and there is so much to be grateful for.

7. Find activities and hobbies outside of NDB that bring joy into your life.

8. You get out of it what you put into it, having a positive attitude in all that you do makes life more enjoyable, and you will be rewarded for it.

Tips for navigating academics at NDB:  

9. Actually read the assigned books in English-It is not a good feeling to not know what is going on during discussions or have to write an essay based on limited knowledge. There are resources online to help you survive without reading the book, but it’s not enough to just survive. You should be challenging your mind and analyzing the book, and you’ll get so much more out of the class if you read the books.

10. “A little bit a day goes a long way,” avoid procrastination.

11. Genuinely get to know your teachers and reach out when you need help- Teachers are a lot more understanding of circumstances if they know that you care about the class and are taking initiative.

12. Figure out how you learn and study best. Establish a routine and stick to it.

13. Prioritize sleep- As seniors, we can look back and remember times when we were getting a lot of sleep vs. not getting a lot of sleep and see the impact it had. You may think that staying up an extra one or two hours will get you the information you need to do well on a test, but if you can’t think straight because you barely slept, that extra info doesn’t even matter. Having a consistent sleep schedule is so, so important.

14. Don’t be afraid to take advanced classes: You may think that you are not smart enough or can’t handle it, but you can. Additionally, it is worth it to try to get college credit through AP classes because it is easier to take the class now where you have a smaller class size and more personalized help, than maybe have to take it in college where less 1:1 help is available.

Insider tricks for NDB:  

15. Don’t take someone’s (unspoken) parking spot or you’ll create an enemy.

16. Try not to buy something on Wednesdays because of the free dessert.

17. If it is 8:15 a.m. you do not have enough time for Starbucks.

18. If you are in an Aquacades swim routine, make sure someone in your group has a pool.

19. The right line for the servery during lunch is always faster.

20. It’s super important that you bring a water bottle each day because it’s easy to get dehydrated when you have so many classes, and make sure to fill it up during lunch because the epicurean puts away the jugs of water after lunch.

21. Want a new uniform piece, but your mom refuses to buy you another sweatshirt? You can reach out to alumnae because most still have a lot of their NDB items. Also, the tiger cage sells donated items at a discounted price, and you might find “vintage” pieces that aren’t sold anymore.

22. Don’t spend a lot of money for locker decorations because most likely you will not use it as much as you think you will.

23. If you know someone in the grade above you who is taking a class that you plan on taking next year, ask them if you can have their books when the year ends. It is a great way to save money and for English classes, the book annotations might help you consider different perspectives you hadn’t thought about.