As much as I would like to protest it due to my fervent individuality complex, we all live very similar college lives.
Once we make our college decisions during our senior year of high school, the Instagram follows and Facebook friend requests start flowing in. As someone who was stingy with my private account by keeping my follower circles limited to only people I had actually met before, this era entirely changed the boundaries I’d previously established.
“Do I wait to put ‘Notre Dame’ in my bio until I’ve officially graduated high school? Do I just put ‘Notre Dame’ or do I include my class year? Should I put my hometown?” These questions kept me up at night.
Regardless, that first week of freshman year was surreal in more ways than just culture shock and newfound independence. I found myself running into girls whom I’d (heavily) stalked on Instagram all summer, back when I was worried about how long it would take me to make friends. The most awkward part about seeing them in person was that half of the time I would admit to this “Insta-stalking,” saying I recognized them from social media and knew their name, only to be humbled by the classic, “Remind me of your name again?”
Without a doubt, the shenanigans that take place after Domerfest or during the first few weeks of freshman year will come to haunt you for the rest of the semester. People you engaged with during that first weekend at Legacy Village or even forgetfully locked lips with one time, when you perhaps were not in the best state of mind, will never go away.
This school is much too small to allow the peace of anonymity. Instead, you will continuously run into your former flames along the DeBart strip, on the first floor of Duncan or, worse, in the dining halls at rush hour. Hopefully you’re not scared of ghosts because your skeletons will crawl right outside of the closet at Notre Dame!
Upon deliberation with the greater student community, I have begun to refer to these people in my experiences as “campus celebrities,” a universal characterization for people that you or your friends quietly obsess over for some trivial reason.
Whether it is the girl with the perfectly aesthetic Instagram feed, the boy you wish wasn’t in your small seminar class because of prior history or the guy who bounds on stilts across campus (please tell me someone knows who I’m talking about?!), campus celebrities provide so much entertainment in your group chats. When a lecture becomes boring, nothing feels better than sending a “Guess who I just saw?” text and reveling in the back-and-forth that ensues.
All this is to say that having one or many campus celebrities is a core part of the college experience. It brings us closer to our friends, will always be a source of conversation and generally makes the day-to-day routine feel less monotonous. So, if you don’t have one yet or you’re a senior and it seems too late, never fear! There are over 8,000 options to choose from; just pick a familiar face whose name you don’t know and obsess wisely — and respectfully!
After all, if we all have our own campus celebrities, chances are, you’re someone’s too!