The foundation of life at Notre Dame is cemented in the tradition of community. Community is built through the bonds made from the first weekend of freshman year, and it takes shape continuously throughout our time on this campus.
Many of the relationships that we develop blossom primarily through life in the residence halls, regardless of the particular hall. Despite the random location and roommate assignments, we tend to grow very close very quickly with our roommates and those who live around us.
This is one of the many positive aspects about living on campus. The friends we make, the experiences we enjoy and the life we live all share a central component: residential life is at the heart of our Notre Dame experience.
Despite all these benefits, on-campus dorm life is not without its flaws. A system that charges students the same amount for room and board whether they live in the recently constructed Flaherty or Dunne or the early to mid-twentieth century Dillon and Farley inherently lends itself to scrutiny. While the older halls are worth their weight in tradition, the newer halls offer significantly more in the way of amenities associated with positive residential experiences.
Personally, I am incredibly grateful I have had the opportunity to live in Dillon Hall for four years. While many institutions cannot offer on-campus housing to students after their freshman year, Notre Dame not only extends that offer but encourages students to remain on campus. There may not be air conditioning and the elevator might be more nerve-wracking than that of the Twilight Zone, but I wouldn’t trade the friendships I’ve made with my roommates and fellow men of Dillon for anything.
The community present in Dillon and in halls across campus — the late-night thought- provoking conversations, holding our collective breaths during every football game, helping each other through difficult classes and practicing faith in a unified setting — is second to none.
So whether you’re just beginning your time on campus or this year is your last, take full advantage of the resources provided by the opportunity to live in such a unique place. This “home under the dome” that we share is truly a special place.
Juan José Rodriguez