Special K(T)

sports, smarts, arts… and other random thoughts

Bye! (for the fall) — August 20, 2014

Bye! (for the fall)

Let’s be honest, I am not going to have time to blog when college starts. Although I do hope to write some during breaks or near holidays in addition to a few sporadic posts. But I will be updating the Days of the Dome section with daily Dome pics. Feel free to check that out, while I do this…

Bye friends! Until Christmas, thanks for reading!

6. Campus Life II: What to Do on Weekends — August 19, 2014

6. Campus Life II: What to Do on Weekends

Going Out.

Dorm parties, house parties, bars… Notre Dame has them. Please read this article as it perfectly describes Notre Dame nightlife. One additional note: While Legends is an extremely weak attempt at an on campus night club, it does boast an extremely popular and equally ratchet Hip Hop Night. I even attended once.

I ventured to dorm parties the first weeks of my freshman year in an attempt to be college, but as I expected, they were not for me. Plus, I don’t drink so that didn’t help. And anyway my sophomore year, I could go out vicariously through my neighbors, who went out pretty much every night… and blasted Timber on repeat while they were pre-gaming.

Anyways, on to the numerous other options for your weekend entertainment.


TheWeek@ND puts all the events, speeches, performances, and sports for the week into one place. You can subscribe and get it in your email each Sunday night. Additionally SAO (Students Activities Organization) and SUB (Student Union Board) regularly run free (or really cheap) student activities like:

  •  ice skating at Compton (hockey ice rink)
  • AcoustiCafe (student musical acts every Thursday @10pm in the student center, LaFun)
  • $3 SUB Movies (showing Thus, Fri, Sat, and Sun) featuring a recently released movie each week.
  • a free Food Truck Night
  • Ice Sculpture Carving and hot chocolate
  • Sonic food and indoor rollerskating
  • ….plus zillions more

At the beginning of the year (The First Weeks) and the final week before summer (AnToastal), SAO and SUB go all out with fun activities. There are concerts for $20 and tons of activities that get you outside and enjoying the actually warm ND weather.

Sporting Events.

My favorite activity is watching Notre Dame sporting events. Not only are all the teams highly ranked and competitive, but the teams give out tons of free t-shirts and other promotions like McDonalds gift cards!

Fall: Men and women’s soccer are definitely must-sees. The first soccer game of the year is jammed (unfortunately attendance drops off after that) and you can get your Leprechaun Legion shirt. Also, look out for the ND soccer scarves given away at a game later on in the season.

Winter: Check out the women’s basketball team, who are so entertaining and awesome! The stadium is always packed and it is easy to learn the players. Not only are the games fun to watch, but when the team hits 88 points, all the fans get free Big Macs! One game, they also gave an iPad mini to a lucky kid in the student section. Additionally, hockey games are quite fun evenings. Almost every Friday and Saturday night, students trek to the Compton Ice Arena and join the band in the student section for a night of fast paced hockey. Among hockey promotions are long sleeve t-shirts and beanies. It is always a good time.

Spring: In the spring, the Notre Dame soccer teams take on the respective U18 Mexico National team. South Bend has a large Hispanic population and they all come out to support their home country. The atmosphere is unbelievable! Definitely one of the events I look forward to each year.

5. Campus Life I: Clubs, Sports/Fitness, Campus Ministry — August 15, 2014

5. Campus Life I: Clubs, Sports/Fitness, Campus Ministry

Activities Night

The second week of school, all the student clubs gather in the JACC (connected to the Joyce Center basketball court) for a huge activities fair. See below for full list of clubs!

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A Few of My Personal Favs:

  1. The Shirt Project: You can be a member of the team that designs The Shirt that everyone wears to the football games! And you don’t have to be artistic, there are marketing and organizing positions.
  2. Leprechaun Legion: The Lep Legion gets the students involved at all sporting events. They also give out pretty sweet green Legion tshirts to the students. Bonus: you get good seats at basketball games!
  3. The Band: Unfortunately, I do not know that much about the band other than they are awesome. Here is their website. The band is loved by students everywhere and I applaud
  4. The Glee Club: If you are a guy who can sing, this group is perfect for you! The Glee Club is really good. They have their own Christmas concert which boasts a huge attendance of girls section events (an RA sponsored event which helps bond his/her section), and they even travel and preform during fall and spring break!

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4. Football Weekends — August 14, 2014

4. Football Weekends

At Notre Dame, fall means football season. People on the quads tossing footballs. The smell of hotdogs and hamburgers filling the crisp fall air. Zahm’s Here Come the Irish sign. Ahhhh, perfection at its finest.

The Sched. – Know It, Live It, Love It.

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How to Get Football Tickets.

As a freshman, in order to be eligible to get your football tickets, you must attend the alcohol awareness speech during your first week (don’t worry your Frosh-O staff will inform you and most likely walk you over). Once you become eligible, you will be informed by email about the day to get football tickets. On that day, you bring your ID and a check or cash for $245 to the ticket office, located at the front of the Joyce Center (basketball arena). I would suggest bringing a check! Notre Dame is really cool and wants all students to attend the games, so dorms have money set aside for students who might not be able to afford the tickets. Talk to your RA or an upperclassmen about how to use dorm funds to buy your football tickets.

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3. Academics — August 13, 2014

3. Academics

Buying Books.

My freshman year, I was all worried and brought all my books from the bookstore. That is SO unnecessary and frankly a waste of money. However, the Hammes Bookstore should still be your first stop in the book buying process to see what books you actually need.

Select your program, course, and section
Select your program, course, and section
Note the ISBN number and cover art.
Note the ISBN number, title, and cover art.

Here are some ways to save money:

  1. If you or someone you know has computer skills, you can sometimes find the book online. And check your major’s Facebook Page for people who post the pdf version or offer to email it to you.
  2. Search Amazon and other book sites for extremely cheap or Rent versions of the books you need.
  3. Email your professor and see if you actually need the book. Sometimes professors put books on the list that are just for reference. Other times, the textbook is listed but the all of the necessary information is taught in lecture.
  4. Attend the sporting events advertising a chance to win a free semester of books! I won the halftime shooting contest at a women’s lacrosse game and won free books!!!!
  5. Unfortunately if you ever need an online webcode like WebAssign for homework or quizzes, you will have to dole out the money. There is no way around it.

How to Survive the Workload.

My best advice for conquering college classes is to BE A PERFECT STUDENT UNTIL YOU GET YOUR FIRST EXAM* BACK. (* Exam= test in college.)
That means attend all classes. Stay on top of your homework. Do the suggested reading. And study A LOT for your first test/quiz/ paper. Then after you receive your first grade, you can adjust and reassess your effort. It is so much easier to ease up than to struggle to save your grade. Remember grades in college are fewer and farther between. There is more material per exam and if you don’t keep up, you will fall extremely far behind.

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2. Frosh-O —

2. Frosh-O

Frosh-O, aka Freshmen Orientation, is as essential to the Notre Dame experience as football games. It is your first introduction to campus as a student and masterfully combines classy Notre Dame tradition and cheesy break-the-ice games.The weekend is spent gradually saying goodbye to your parents and forming a bond with both your new roommate and the other girls (or guys) in your dorm.  Some people are grateful to move past all the forced mingling and opposite-sex serenading, while others choose to relive the orientation for another year by becoming a member of the Frosh-O staff. One thing is for sure, you will remember it.




At your pre-assigned time slot either 9-10:30am or 11:30am-1pm, you will add your car to a huge line of vehicles and wait for the ND ushers to direct you towards your dorm. Once reaching your dorm, a swarm of energetic Frosh-O staff members will pile all of your belongs into a large laundry cart and deliver your items to your room. Enjoy this service as you have to move in your stuff by yourself every other year.

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1. Dorms and What to Bring for Your Room — August 9, 2014

1. Dorms and What to Bring for Your Room

The most important thing to realize when planning what to bring for your dorm room is that each dorm is different. The rooms in Hotel Ryan (as the University’s newest dorm is occasionally referred to as) are drastically different from Morrissey (which boasts the smallest living quarters on campus). Thus it is essential to go the Office of Housing website (screenshots shown below) or google your dorm’s official website to see the specific details and photos for your dorm. Does your dorm have air conditioning? Modular furniture vs. regular beds? Is there room for a futon? All these things are dorm specific. Other great resources are your Frosh-O, which is the name given to Freshmen Orientation, or Freshmen tabs on dorm websites. Feel free to email room questions to any of the Frosh-O staff or post questions in your hall’s Facebook page. Honestly, students love to help and share their advice. 

Should I bring stuff from Home or Buy at School?

This is entirely up to you. My mom drives a huge Chevy Astro Van, so I was able to bring everything from home. This way I was able to shop for sales and not buy everything at peak Back-to-College prices. But if you are flying or just want to buy everything out at Notre Dame, you will still be able to find everything you need to stock your dorm. It turns out Mishawaka is a thriving metropolis! (not really).

Learn how to pronounce Mishawaka, the town where all the stores are:

But seriously, Mishawaka is a mere 5 minute drive from campus with Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart, and the entire University Park Mall. I would pass on the campus-run Fall Mall in the Stepan Center, which usually just has overpriced furniture and storage items although they do have a collection of reasonably priced posters.

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Guide to Notre Dame —

Guide to Notre Dame

After just speaking at my brother’s Notre Dame Send-Off Picnic, I decided now would be the perfect time to start a new segment of my blog.



Going into my freshmen year at Notre Dame, I wanted to be ready and know what campus was like and I read all 100 posts of Things Notre Dame Students Like. This guide is a collection of my experiences in hopes to give incoming freshmen an idea of what to expect. The following posts will address topics ranging from what to bring for your dorm to what to expect on football weekends. Get ready for the best 4 years of your life. And Go Irish! 🍀

Please keep in mind, all view expressed are my own and not that of the University of Notre Dame.