The living situation: While most colleges with an Evans Scholarship program have houses where the students live, Notre Dame doesn't. Instead the female scholars live in a dorm with other women, and the male scholars live in the dorm next door. There are only 5 female freshman Evans recipients at ND.
At ND students must live on campus for 3 years, while Evans kids - all 4 years. Remember, ND doesn't take requests.
Another fun fact, Notre Dame doesn't have Greek life. Think Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Students are allegiant to their assigned dorm. If someone badmouths a student's dorm, they better be ready for a fight.
Students who make great friends from another dorm, can apply to switch to a friend's dorm the following school year. It happens, but rarely.
Dorm and roommate assignments were delivered back on July 1.Mini was assigned a quad. Two rooms with two girls and a common room in between. She'd been
stalking checking out the other Evans students on Instagram. She hoped to be paired with 'M'. The Evans kids all have at least one Evans roommate. Mini was bummed. She wasn't paired with 'M'.
Mini suspected that her (non-Evans) roommate, Ellen, was odd. The Evans girl in her quad is super quiet. the 4th girl is very nice, but doesn't seem real, she always presents with a smiley face.
Before we'd even driven home from ND, Mini shared that Ellen was annoying and clingy. Mini was in the dining hall, happy to have met a new girl to eat with. Ellen came up and tapped her on the shoulder, "We're sitting over there, come sit with us." Mini was irritated.
I told her not to worry - once classes started there'd be a natural divide. Three weeks in, Mini doesn't hang out with her roomies. She does her own thing and they do theirs. Peaceful, just separate.
Good-bye: After the closing mass, we walked back to Mini's dorm and said good-bye. She sobbed. My confident, easy-going, hilarious, messy-bun-wearing, don't-care-what-anyone-thinks daughter was a puddle. Oh, my heart. I cried right along with her. I told her it would all be fine, that we would talk and she would find her people, etc. She kept nodding, but the tears kept coming.
We had eaten a late lunch. When we got to the car, I panicked: WHAT IF SHE HAS NO ONE TO EAT DINNER WITH? SHOULD WE STAY FOR DINNER?
I texted her and asked her if she was OK. I told her we'd come and eat with her, if that was her preference. At 2:00 I'd stuffed myself. It was so pricey to eat in the dining hall - I wanted my money's worth. Sometimes being on a budget is a pain. I was willing to take one for the team and cram more food in my pie hole.
She found people to eat with and said she'd be OK. I cried on and off all the way home.
More tears: Mini sounded funny the first few phone calls. We thought we were annoying her. *I now know she was holding in her emotions.*
I chatted briefly with her one morning a few days after we'd dropped her off. Coach was annoyed that I'd gotten to talk to her and he hadn't. I was saying good-bye to the babies at the garage door. He was on the front porch, his phone to his ear.
Do I hear someone crying?
Coach: HEY MINI, MOMMY'S RIGHT HERE. DO YOU MIND IF I PUT YOU ON SPEAKER PHONE?
Does she MIND? I'm her MOTHER.
If you're picturing this playing out like a scene in a movie where the mother's eyes bug out of her head and she boxes her husband out while wrestling him for the phone all while hollering into the phone IT'S OK- I'M RIGHT HERE. WHAT'S GOING ON? -Then, it's as if you were a visitor in my front hall.
Why is she crying? How much of this conversation have I missed?
She'd been hanging out with the 2 Evans girls: M who she'd hoped to room with and M's roommate H, who Mini really liked.
Mini texted them: When do you want to walk over to the scholars' ice cream social?
They'd already left the dorm and hadn't thought to wait for her. I was sure it was an oversight. Mini felt hurt.
Early on Mini worried that she was 'wasting' her time. While she was getting to know M and H, other friendships were being made - was it a mistake to spend time with M and H?
Weeks have passed. H started dating a boy on day 4 and has no time for friends. Mini feels like these two girls, who she does enjoy, tend to only do things together. She is focusing on building other friendships.
Stress: Mini admits that her expectations were too high. She wanted to make her friends before classes started, so that task was handled. Oh, goodness.
I told her - she will most likely make friends in her classes, too. She is desperate to find her 'group.' She's told me many times how much she misses her close-knit group of friends from home. In high school she could hang out with most groups. She was well known and well liked.
|Taking things to a new level: I now grade my |
cookies when I bag and freeze
them. The A+ ready to go to my
tailgate are in the Gladware bin,
the bag of A- is my backup supply.
I say it'll be fine. Not to mention, if she meets a wonderful girl outside of her dorm - she can request to have that girl come and move into her dorm.
Her math teacher, 'Teach', whose twins I babysit, is zooming with her tonight to help her review for math.
I told 'Teach': I wonder if Mini is struggling because she's a funny kid and she hasn't yet shown that side. Maybe if she shares the grad photo story when the photographer dragged her across the room by her feet, people who gravitate towards humor will be like:
YOU, TALL GIRL WITH THE MESSY BUN, YOU'RE MY PEOPLE.
|Can you figure out what is going on|
in this photo? It's so weird,
it's almost artistic.
I saw Mini Saturday while tailgating at Notre Dame. So fun. Our presence on campus during the first home game stressed her out. I urged her to just do her thing - see us when it worked. Another tearful good-bye. Not gonna lie, I'm having a hard time focusing on anything. Thanks for putting up with this long saga. I'm hoping she relaxes soon, so I can also relax.
Are you a fan or Greek life? That wasn't offered at my college. Anyone homesick when they went to college, camp, or anywhere? Have you wrestled a phone from someone when you heard tears, knowing the person NEEDED you? Do you freeze cookies or something else? With a grading system?