As my relatives know, since the age of 11, I wanted to go to Notre-Dame. While it was due to watching “Rudy” and falling in love with Notre Dame football, I learned more about the University, its academics, and its Catholic tradition. It only made me fall in love with it more. Although I was never the best student, I thought I could go to school there one day. Everyone I knew, family, friends, teachers, even my dentist, said I was like a modern-day Rudy. Fast forward to my senior year of high school, I received my decision letter…denied.
It was heartbreaking to say the least. Less than a week later, I learned that I had been accepted into Holy Cross College. While my mother was delighted that I entered university. I forced a fake smile on my face, which was believable enough that she never knew I wasn’t happy when I got my letter (I know you read that mom, I’m sorry you found out that way). Instead, my whole mindset was, “OK, work your butt off and transfer,” so I did. Long story short, I was turned down again, then again my sophomore year. I made a promise to myself not to try my freshman year, because I thought being at Notre Dame for a year would make me feel like I was never really a student.
Fast forward to the last year. I took several courses at Notre-Dame, worked for The Observer and The Shirt committee, while studying at Holy Cross. I have embraced Sainte-Croix as my second home and will always continue to represent them with great pride. That said, I can’t agree that it doesn’t hurt to do the ‘sacred hike’ up Riley Hall, passing the Golden Dome and thinking about what might have been.
It’s a strange feeling to have been closely involved with both schools. While some deny it and try to say it’s not true, we all know there are people at Notre Dame who look down on those who attend Holy Cross. I never knew why and it troubles me every day. There are people like me who are simply more involved with both Our Lady and Holy Cross, but they are not given as much respect, only because we proudly represent the Saints instead of the Irish.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with the children of Notre Dame (even those who are/were gateways), some who are the nicest people I’ve ever met and who push me away as soon as I mention that I’m going to Holy Traverser. It sucks that as soon as I cross the street towards Notre-Dame – despite my involvement in so many things – I still feel like I don’t deserve to be here. I was refused entry, I accepted that, but all I ask is that I get the same respect from the people here that I give them. Is it too much to ask? I thought we were called a tri-campus for a reason.
Contact Gabriel Zarazua at [email protected]
The opinions expressed in this inside column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.