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All these little things

All these little things

Lauren Durham '22 August 19, 2022
Headshot of Lauren Durham.
Lauren Durham '22

I’m at the end of my four years at UD, and I’ve been asked to sum up my time here. UD Magazine readers, how do I do that?

As I sit here on my porch, tulips blooming, neighbors gathering next door and the late-April sunshine finally peeking through the clouds, I’m at a loss. I feel like I should have one defining moment in my four years on campus that makes me think “this is home,” or some perfect memory that epitomizes what it means to be a Flyer. 

But I don’t. 

After making long lists and hitting the backspace button on my laptop one-too-many times, I’ve come to the conclusion that being a student at UD cannot be summed up by one moment — or even a handful of them. It’s the little things that make this community feel like home. 

"I’ve come to the conclusion that being a student at UD cannot be summed up by one moment — or even a handful of them."

It’s the first person I talked to on move-in day. I distinctly remember telling myself to talk to the girl across the hall who was also moving into her Marycrest room early, like me. So I did. She became my best friend and roommate for the next three years. I’m dreading grocery shopping without her. 

It’s the Core program that I accidentally joined. I clicked a button on the first-year housing portal and suddenly found myself in a multi-disciplinary program that met twice a day each Tuesday and Thursday and required an original historiography at the end of my freshman year. Now, I’m finishing my second year living in the Core house on College Park. My best friends are all Core graduates, and the professors are some of the best I’ve worked with. 

It’s the first English professor I met during new student orientation. After multiple classes, weekly meetings for two years straight and endless hours of reading tweets with me, he guided me through the research, editing and production necessary to complete an honors thesis in the form of a podcast — something I never thought I’d do. 

It’s the student newspaper I joined because my first-year teaching assistant suggested I should. I have covered everything from a day-in-the-life with President Spina to COVID-19 protocols over my four years as a writer and editor. After countless late-night drafts and the accumulation of massive stacks of print editions, I added my name to the bright red mailbox signed with love by other former Flyer News editors. 

It’s the chapel and the Marianists — not only symbols of UD but also the foundation of everything we as Flyers strive to be: compassionate, intentional people who want to make our communities a little better. It’s this spirit that kept my family and me connected to our Catholic faith during the pandemic. We gathered on the couch every Sunday for months, coffees in hand, and listened to Father Jim and Father Kip from our living room. 

It’s the one job I got out of a dozen that I applied for on Handshake at the end of my first year. I saw an opportunity to write and get paid for it, so I applied. Here I am now, writing my final UD Magazine piece after almost three years of interviewing alumni, faculty, staff and students.

It’s … everything. Every small moment, interaction and experience has shaped me into the person I am now. 

A curious, upbeat girl who loved to write but didn’t know what to do with that love is now graduating and pursuing her dream job in public relations in Chicago. 

I have an entire community of educators, mentors, friends and family behind me. I have the University of Dayton. 

Comfortable ritual