Growing up, I’ve always dreamed of going to a big university. However, with my family’s financial status, I knew it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. I had just finished my first year of high school when I realized that even though it may not be possible for me to attend a big league university, it was still possible for me to go visit and tour one. So I called my older sister, and asked if she was willing to take out some of her time to go on a college road trip with me. After hearing her answer, I couldn’t have been a happier camper. I jumped up and down, paced back and forth in my room, and even ran out of the house screaming because I was so excited. I knew this was going to be the best experience of my life.
It was the first day of summer, and we were on our way to one of the most prestigious schools in the United States—The University of Notre Dame. Overly excited and full of joy, I wasn’t able to sit still on the car ride there. There were so many things to be looking forward to. Driving on a 75 mile per hour highway, we saw sky high land bridges, multiple rivers that seemed like they would go on forever, and even some dangerous rocky cliffs. Of course, that was after we had left Nebraska. As we began to cross the Illinois border into Indiana, the only emotion that was left in my body was excitement. It felt as if all my other feelings had escaped into the wilderness of the world. After driving for about another two hours, we finally arrived at our destination.
The whole ride there took us about eight hours, which at first seemed like a long time, but somehow, all the adrenaline in my body made it feel like I was only in the car for two. At that moment, my body had reached its full capacity for storing excitement. There was no way I could store anymore. So I literally jumped out of the car, and made my way to the main entrance. Once we got there, we met with the receptionist, and she set us up with a tour guide.
Just looking at the campus map, I was already amazed. The campus was so big that it could’ve formed its own little city. Walking through the campus grounds, it felt like I was walking through a 25-acre garden, surrounded by big stone buildings. The first building that caught my eye was the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It had to be the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen in my life. With its ceiling supported by tall, marble pillars, and its walls filled with abstract art, there couldn’t have been a better sight. Exiting the church, we were then led to some of the most relaxing places on campus. We visited Lake St. Mary, Lake St. Joseph, and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Indeed, it was tranquil and peaceful. As we headed back to the main building, we came across an outside mural called “Touchdown Jesus.” In front of it was a shallow body of water that would carry the mural’s reflection when it was sunny outside. I thought that was pretty unique.
Upon entering the main building, I realized that there couldn’t have been a better time for me to visit. Knowing that college was just around the corner, what was a better way to prepare than to explore my possibilities.
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