Is Shaming Ourselves an Effective Strategy for Productivity?

Guest post by Megan G. Brown, Ph.D., HSPP, Interim Director of the Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., Center for Student Well-Being.

 

So this is a research study I would totally sign up for! It is about eating cake; my favorite dessert! Participants were randomly assigned to three different groups. What each group had in common was that each individual was seated in front of a huge piece of the most beautiful, layered chocolate cake you could imagine. The kind you see at the Cheesecake Factory. Can you see it? What was different about each group were the instructions they were given. Group #1 was asked to think about how bad they would feel about themselves after eating the piece of cake. Group #2 was asked to think about how good they would feel about themselves if they resisted eating the cake. Group #3 was given no instructions (that’s the group I would want to be in). Researchers wanted to know, Who would resist eating the cake? (That would NOT have been me). Here’s what they found. Ten percent of participants in group #1 (shame group) resisted eating it. But get this, 40% of participants in group #2 (pride group) resisted eating the cake. And the control group? Only 18.8% resisted eating the cake. This simple study confirms a lot of research out there. How we talk to ourselves matters. When we shame ourselves and think about how bad we will feel about something (about not going to the lab, about not working on the dissertation, about not working out, etc.) we make tough things tougher. Have you ever tried to shame yourself into doing or not doing something? Very common human strategy. But scientific evidence suggests this does not work. But just flip it into values-centered pride. That works!

Although attempting to shame ourselves into doing something is a common strategy, scientific evidence suggests it does not work.

As a counseling psychologist who has worked with Notre Dame students for the past 10 years, I have struggled to help students believe that self-criticism and self-shaming do not work. I have often heard, “If I’m not tough on myself, I won’t do anything!” Fortunately, recent neuroscience has helped me make the case more convincingly. What fMRIs show is that shame shuts down the prefrontal cortex of the brain – the part of the brain that helps you make hard decisions that are in-line with your values. Shame activates the amygdala, the alarm center of your brain, and makes your brain look the same as someone whose leg was just broken. If you haven’t experienced that before, it hurts! The automatic, impulsive, reward systems of the brain that say “Watch Netflix instead, that’s more fun and you’ll feel better!” keep working and drive us to do what feels good (i.e. not work).

When we experience shame, the reward systems of the brain drive us to do what feels good (i.e. not work).

I know what some of you are thinking. “I don’t TRY to make myself feel bad, it just happens!” You’re right. Most of our thinking is automatic and it is not easy to change. So don’t try! Instead, just notice those critical thoughts and feelings without trying to change them. Just the act of noticing and naming helps bring the prefrontal cortex back on-line and calms the amygdala.

Practice noticing and naming your critical thoughts and feelings. This practice, also called mindfulness, changes the brain over time.

Pausing and noticing can also help you remember to intentionally imagine how proud you will feel if you do what is in line with your values. And practicing noticing, also called mindfulness, changes the brain over time. When we develop a different relationship with “bad” thoughts and feelings and they become less powerful over us. And get this, when we practice values-oriented pride and self-compassion, the reward centers of the brain light up and look like we are going to eat a piece of chocolate cake!

Values-oriented pride and self-compassion are helpful ways of talking to ourselves.

Running & Other Adventures in the Bend

Guest post by Kelly Heilman, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences

Spending time outside running, hiking, and generally exploring has always been my preferred form of stress relief. When I moved to South Bend, this was no different. Could South Bend be a good place for an outdoor adventurer, you ask? While we don’t have mountains to run up and ski down, I discovered an active running community and several unique recreation opportunities in the area. From running, to backpacking, and exploring the region’s outdoor resources, I’m listing my favorite opportunities that I wish I had known about earlier in my Grad Life here at Notre Dame.

If you don’t see your adventure sport of choice featured below—don’t fret! Some friends in my department & I co-founded a graduate jogging group (see JOGS below) because we realized there were no social running groups that currently served the needs of graduate students. So, if you would like to see a new group on campus, chances are you are not alone! Get out there and have an adventure!

South Bend Offers an Active Running Community and Recreation Opportunities Such As Running, Hiking, and Backpacking
Organized Running & Adventure Groups:

JOGS (Jogging Organization for Graduate Students): A new SAO approved club that for ND Graduate Students interested in jogging! We host at least 2 runs each week (Runs this semester are on Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm), and our goal is to create a fun social network of Joggers/runners on campus. Email jogs@nd.edu for more information!

Fleet Feet Pub Runs: Every Wednesday evening Fleet Feet hosts a 5k pub/social run around ND campus, leaving from O’Rourkes on Eddy Street. You get to meet a lot of different runners (who run a lot of different paces) & several people often hang around O’Rourkes afterwards.

South Bend Adventure Club: Informal adventure group in the region whose members organize hikes, backpacking trips, kayak outings, and much more. I have organized some ski events & a Backpacking trip in the Ozarks with this group. The group’s Facebook page is how events are organized.

Local Parks to Explore:

St. Patrick’s County Park: Local favorite with some fun running trails, as well as many community events. They also offer cross-country skiing (including rentals) in the winter!

Potato Creek State Park: State park in Indiana with hiking & running trails, mountain biking, and a small lake. 

Warren Dunes & Grand Mere State Parks: Two different state parks in MI with sand dunes you can hike up, access to Lake Michigan, and some trails through the woods.

Get outside & adventuring!

Is It Procrastination or Is It Self-Care?

Guest post by Megan G. Brown, Ph.D., HSPP, Interim Director of the Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., Center for Student Well-Being.

 

With your research constantly hanging over your head, do you ever feel like normal life activities such as exercise, hanging out with friends, or reading fiction are procrastination? Or maybe you have an advisor who gives you the impression that if it doesn’t relate to your research, you shouldn’t be doing it! It is true that good things can be used to escape from doing the hard things. But how do you know when you are procrastinating or when you are practicing self-care?

 

There isn’t an easy answer, but there is an answer. And it starts with a question. Who or what is important to you? If your research and why you are doing that research is on the list, then you are off to a good start.  But there are other things and people on that list as well, right? (I hope so!) What about friends, family, health, adventure, faith, laughter, “me”, to name a few possibilities? These are the people and things that energize us in life. When we move toward them, they provide meaning and purpose even if they cause stress at times. (They are stressful because they matter!)

 

Friends, Family, Health, Adventure, Faith, and Laughter Can Provide Us with Purpose

 

But if you are anything like me, you are never always moving toward who or what is important to you because stuff shows up and gets in the way. And the most challenging stuff that gets in the way is on the inside: fatigue, guilt, insecurity, fear, sadness, stress (to name only a few). When these gremlins rear their ugly heads, I automatically do some stuff to try to get rid of them. I watch Netflix, take a nap, get snippy with people, or eat chocolate (or some combination of these). Most of these activities are not bad, but it is a matter of timing and purpose.

 

So the second question is, Does this activity move me toward who or what is important to me or does it move me away? Often, when we do something to escape uncomfortable feelings within ourselves, the activity moves us away from our values, not toward them. In the moment, the activity feels great; we are comforted and soothed. That’s why we continue doing it and why it is so automatic. It works! But how do we feel after watching three hours of Friends while consuming the box of chocolates that was for a friend’s birthday gift?

 

Feelings Such as Fatigue, Guilt, Insecurity, Fear, Sadness, and Stress May Move Us Away from Activities and People We Value

 

The key to knowing whether something is procrastination or self-care isn’t how it makes us feel, but whether it is moving us closer to who we want to be, what is best for us and who/what is important to us. It takes some practice, but there is evidence that suggests that just asking, “Is this a toward move or an away move?” can slow us down and turn off our autopilot so we make better long-term decisions. Research also suggests that contemplating our values increases resilience and decreases stress.

 

Research Suggests That Contemplating Our Values Increases Resilience and Decreases Stress.

 

Both of these happen in one simple question, “Is this a toward move or an away move?” Try it! You may be re-energized to keep working on your research because it is what is most important to you or you may end up taking a much needed, guilt-free nap.

 

 

What Does the GSU Do?

In this guest post, Caitlin Smith Oyekole, a 5th-year English Ph.D. student and current Co-Vice President of the GSU explains the functions of the GSU and the many ways in which they support graduate students

This year, the 2018 Graduate Student Union executive board is focusing on improving communication between the GSU and the average grad student. Our big, first question is: Where’s the breakdown happening? Is it the website? Emails? Representative participation? And the answer is all of the above, but there’s a big central problem that keeps coming up.

Most grad students don’t really know what we do.

So here’s a quick overview of what the GSU is, what it does, and how you can get involved!

The GSU supports graduate students in all facets of life

The GSU is the largest and oldest graduate student organization at Notre Dame. It exists to support graduate students in all facets of life—academics, personal life, social programming, research, etc. It provides support in three main ways: money, programming, and proximity to power.

  1. Money
Above: GSU officers delivering bags of gold to hardworking grad students

Our budget comes from the GSU Student Fee and donations from the Graduate School, and we are supported by a dedicated ND staff member, Mimi Beck.

Above: Mimi Beck, a truly wonderful person 

The GSU has much bigger budget than the other graduate student organizations, and we’re happy to share! In addition to using our money to fund the programming for our committees, we set aside money to fund events for other student organizations. We also devote money to the Conference Presentation Grant and the Graduate Teaching Awards.

 

The GSU also centralizes other organizations’ funding for graduate students, like GradLife’s GO Grants, the Graduate School’s emergency fund for graduate students, and the Shirt Fund, which supports Notre Dame students with extraordinary medical conditions who have demonstrated financial need.

  1. Programming
Oh yes! We have parties, professional development, and… no snappy “p”-word to describe what Quality of Life does. Darn.

Three of the GSU’s five committees (Social and Community Engagement, Quality of Life, and Professional Development) organize events throughout the year. These can range from a big event like the Professional Development Fair, to smaller, demographic-targeted events, like Quality of Life’s coffee & chat series for married or partnered grad students.

 

Some big, long-running events happen every year. For example, the GSU always sponsors the Jingle Bell Ball in December and a Charity Gala in May. Check out the full programming schedule on our new website, which will go live at the end of Fall Break, to see exactly what’s planned for the year! And watch your inboxes for email alerts.

  1. Proximity to Power
What, you were expecting a different Hamilton reference?

While we aren’t a labor union, the GSU is the primary vehicle for communication between the university administration and grad student community. We mostly do this through committee work. The Academic Affairs Committee and Healthcare Committees place GSU officers on a wide range of university committees—everything from the Parking Lot Committee, to the upper-tier Academic Council!

 

Why committees? By sitting on committees, the GSU officer can represent the interests of graduate students at multiple levels within the administrative hierarchy. The GSU officer also makes sure that grad students know about important decisions that are being deliberated—by presenting a report at the GSU meeting. Anyone can come to GSU’s monthly meetings—you don’t have to be a departmental representative!

Passionate about something? Come to the GSU meeting and let your voice be heard!

 

The easiest, quickest way to get involved in GSU is simply to show up! We meet every 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM in the Duncan Ballroom. Dinner is provided.

 

You can also reach out directly to any of the Committee Chairs or the Executive Board. We want to hear from you—and we want to support you (E.G. make your lives easier)! Don’t hesitate to let us know what’s on your mind. We are a GSU that works for you!

President: Matyas Tsegaye 

Vice President: Oyekola Oyekole 

Vice President: Caitlin Smith Oyekole

Academic Affairs Chairs:

Alex Brodersen

Tony Rosales

Healthcare Chair:

Kris Murray 

Professional Development Chairs:

Tracy-Lynn Lockwood

Mortaza Saeidi-Javash

Jessica Zinna

Quality of Life Chairs:

Shinjini Chattopadhyay

Connor Mullen 

Joseph Thomas

Social and Community Engagement Chairs:

Alyssa Oberman

Hui Yin Tan

Self-Care: Who Has Time for That?

In this guest post, Gabrielle Pointon, M.S., Psychology Intern at the University Counseling Center, addresses the importance of self-care for graduate students. 

Self-Care. It’s an infamous word that you all have probably heard, but often ignore because of how impossible it seems. You don’t have the time. You don’t have the energy. There are more important things to do. I urge you to really think about this concept of self-care. As you are reading this, how are you feeling? Run down? Burnt out? Sleep deprived? Graduate school is a prime period in your life to feel this way because you have so much to accomplish in such a small amount of time. You probably even feel guilty when you take time for yourself because you could be doing something “more productive.”

This outlook has led to an epidemic, a crisis if you so choose, in the mental health of graduate students. You all have a lot of pressure on your shoulders, and this pressure leads to isolation and feelings of inadequacy. To make it even more difficult, you are in the minority in terms of educational achievement, so most of the people outside of your academic circle cannot even comprehend the stress you are under or the work you are trying to complete. If you are still in graduate school, you’re winning, but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel like you’re drowning at the same time. This is why graduate students have been found to be SIX TIMES more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population.

So, why is self-care important? Part of the reason is because students with a good work-life balance have significantly better mental health outcomes. This means making sure you take care of your basic needs, such as getting adequate nutrition and sleep, is important, but it’s more than just that. It’s taking a break and recharging too. It is essential that you are trying to disconnect from school by having a set time each day to find a little piece of comfort and joy. Self-care looks different for each person, so this could consist of social time, meditation, exercising, engaging in a hobby, etc. If you feel guilty about even the idea of taking breaks, remember that research demonstrates breaks lead to more productivity in the long run.

The take away here is this: make self-care just as much a priority as your work. Some days you’ll have hours and some days you’ll merely have minutes, but your mental health is dependent on these types of choices. Let’s make your graduate career a positive one to look back upon!

How can we, as a community of graduate students, prioritize self-care in our daily lives? What are your favorite strategies for practicing self-care? Leave a comment below!

South Bend Music Scene: a Small City with a Lot of Good Noise (Part I)

The Control Group playing in the Biology grad Halloween party.

In this guest post, Elvin E. Morales Pérez, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences, shares his favorite places to enjoy live music in South Bend.

Hailing from a small agricultural town in Puerto Rico, finding entertaining music-related events that didn’t involve Salsa or Reggaeton was a bit of an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting my dance on every so often, but musical variety is an important part of a growing young man’s education. Once I moved to South Bend, however, I was very pleasantly surprised. “The Bend,” as it is more commonly known to the “Youths,” is the biggest city I have ever lived in (sad, I know) and as such, I wanted to explore everything it had to offer. It was during this process that I came to discover a very active, vibrant, and above all varied music scene in the city. Live bands, open mics, dance events, random/slightly obscure/underground house shows (like that time my band The Control Group, played an acoustic show in my garageshameless plug), and even cool roaming DJs spinning vintage vinyl from the back of a VW van (actual thing, not kidding), South Bend is just full of various things that anyone from professional or aspiring musicians to even regular music lovers would enjoy.

For all of those interested in the occasional piece of live entertainment or for those of you looking to share your musical talents with the rest of the world, I know a couple of places that you might be interested in:

 

  • Fiddler’s Hearth: South Bend’s very own local Irish pub is one of the most important musical focal points in the city with live musical events sometimes every day of the week. There is Open Irish Music Session on Mondays, Old Timey Music Sessions on Tuesdays, Acoustic Open Stage on Wednesdays, where you can play or enjoy shows by local bands playing anything from Irish folk songs to sweet, sweet funk music during the weekends. Fiddler’s is definitely a place where you’ll have a good time with some good food.

 

  • Vegetable Buddies: Veggie buddies is a place full of South Bend musical history. A musical hub in the city during the late 70’s, this prominent musical venue — which hosted some of the greats in jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Woodstock-era rock and roll — returned to South Bend in the last few years and has kept that tradition going strong. On Fridays and Saturdays, Veggie Buddies hosts artists from all over, which sometimes even open the stage for local musicians to play with them, so if you’re interested in some cool music with some good atmosphere check it out. (They also have Latin Dance Nights on Wednesdays if you want to get your groove on; variety man, wonderful stuff).

 

  • LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern: Although a little bit difficult to get to, involving a trek through the alleyway next to the building, and going up the back stairwell to the third floor (makes you feel kind of cool actually), the LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern is one of my favorite places in South Bend. Good food, good atmosphere, and above all, really cool music shows, with bands and solo artists playing most Fridays and Saturdays. One time, I heard a Spanish rock band playing which ended up hitting right in the feels, mainly because I was one of the few that actually understood the language that night, but it was still amazing.

 

  • Lang Lab: When you first look at Lang Lab from the outside you may think “this place looks like an old warehouse.” Well, the reason why this is the first thing that pops into people’s minds is that it is a warehouse, or much rather, it used to be. The owners converted the 33,000 sq. ft. building into a multi-use cultural and educational facility that hosts several local businesses (one of them a coffee shop, yay!), as well as many theater groups and musical artists. Additionally, it has its very own gallery, displaying pieces from various local artists.

 

Aside from the various places I mentioned, there are also a lot of city-wide musical events like the Riverlights Music Festival, a two-day event which takes place every summer and includes over 50 local musicians playing only original music. Remember, these are only a couple of suggestions to get you going, there are still many places and events around “The Bend” that space constraints and a lack of literary wit prevent me from telling you about. Go out, explore, and start making fun, new experiences involving awesome, weird, and funky fresh sounds.

P.S. In the next installment of “Elvin kind of talks about music stuff” I’ll talk about places where the more adventurous but not-as-musically-oriented people might want to try their luck: Karaoke bars… (*ominous thunder sounds*)

Do you have any questions about living in South Bend? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

 

 

Advice for Academic Writing from Wendy Laura Belcher

If there is one book I wish I read at the beginning of my graduate studies it is Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher. Although Belcher provides a detailed plan for completing and submitting an academic article, she also offers honest, useful, and more importantly, realistic advice which is applicable for other sorts of writing such as seminar papers, notes for comprehensive exams, dissertations, and even creative endeavors. Belcher acknowledges that scientific writing generally has other parameters, so she mainly addresses scholars in fields such as the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Here are some of my favorite suggestions from the book:

  • Identify your feelings about writing.
    • Are you experiencing guilt, fear of failure, impostor syndrome? It is actually very common to have negative feelings about writing. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and even talk about them rather than repress them.
  • Prepare a realistic writing schedule.
    • Work on a writing schedule and anticipate weeks when you might not be able to write.
    • Pick a time of day that works with your other responsibilities and habits. Consider if you are a morning or an evening person before deciding on the best time to write.
    • If you cannot write at the same time every day, try to come up with a regular pattern for your schedule.
  • Make writing social.
    • Writing does not require isolation. In fact, it should be done in community. Join a writing group or attend a writing class. A good conversation about your manuscript will help you think further about your argument and will teach you how to respond to feedback and criticism.
  • Write every day.
  • Do not wait to write. Do not wait for:
    • Inspiration
    • The last minute
    • Big blocks of time.
  • Do not wait until all of your research is done to start writing.
    • It is not possible to read every book which might be related to our topic.
    • Start writing and this will help you determine what information you actually need.
    • Leave holes in your manuscript. These can be filled up later.
    • Approach writing and thinking as simultaneous tasks.
  • Persist!
    • Rejection is common, do not take it as a measure of your worth. The best writers get rejections as well, but they persist.  

Overall, Belcher’s book encourages graduates students to persevere, even when we feel we do not have the time to write. She also offers practical solutions to common internal and external obstacles. If you would like to know more about her approach or if you are interested in following her 12-week plan, you can find her book at the Hesburgh Library. (The Spanish edition is also available for online access).

Did you enjoy Belcher’s book? Do you have any more questions about it? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

Biking Around Notre Dame

In this special guest post, Jessica Schiltz a Graduate Orientation Ambassador, breaks down the bike options for getting to all the best places. 

The beauty of our campus is undeniable, with the sprawling quads, carefully lined flower beds and the grassy expanses, artfully lined with paved sidewalks. The winding paths and acres of lawns and landscaping are however, less than desirable when you need to get somewhere fast. The University of Notre Dame is approximately 2mi2 and navigating on- and off-campus can be time-consuming.

In order to optimize your daily routes consider acquiring a bicycle. Purchase options are always available at the wholesale retailers in Mishawaka, but if you’re looking for a deal that isn’t in a store, or on Craigslist, every year Fischer O’Hara Grace (Graduate Student Housing) hosts a bicycle raffle at the start of fall semester. Not sure if you need a bike right away? No problem, Notre Dame hosts an Old2Gold sale that includes donated campus bicycles. (Side note: graduate students who work year-round should remember to visit ND Security Police (NDSP) in Hammes Mowbray Hall in May to pick up a summer tag for their bike, so that your bike doesn’t get removed during this annual clearing!) You can also hunt for deals at the annual spring Bicycle Swap through the Bike Michiana Coalition, where you can haggle for mountain, road, and cruiser variants.

It is highly recommended that you register the ownership of your current or newly acquired bicycle through NDSP. This improves chances of recovery if lost or stolen, or possibly placed on a tree branch. To prevent damage to your property and nearby leafy perennials, consider purchasing a U-lock rather than a cable lock and, if on campus, secure your bike to a bike rack. Also two quick pro tips: once summer is over, and winter quickly approaches, NDSP is willing to store bicycles for free, keeping them safe from the ravages of freezing temperatures and salt. Oh, you have a popped inner tube? Need a new chain? Proform Bike Shop is the closest place where you can get help on maintenance and repairs.

Can’t afford the purchase of a new or used bicycle? Consider LimeBike. These bright key-lime green cruisers are dotted across ND and South Bend. Download their mobile app on Google Play or the App Store to set up an account and ride for 30 minutes for only a $1.00! Plus, if you sign-up with a valid ND (.edu) email, you can get a 50% discount. Plus, if you know you’ll use LimeBike frequently the LimePrime Students program is $14.95 a month that includes 100 ride credits. So, if you are sick of two-ten-ing (walking) everywhere, waste no time and go find a two-wheeled ride!

7 Books Every Grad Student Should Read

Are you looking for some beginning of the semester reading? I’m a fourth-year grad student and I have found these 7 books to be quite influential in my own ability to navigate the world of academia. You may find them helpful too:

The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job by

Karen Kelsky

  • Shows you how to structure your time and priorities to meet the demands of the job market.
  • Best for those in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Advice for New Faculty Members by Robert Boice

  • Empirically informed explanation for how to overcome the bad habits you’ve formed as a student and how to start thinking like a true scholar
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valeri Young

  • Good for all people- explains impostor syndrome and how to identify that this is the problem that you or your colleagues are suffering from and some key ways to overcome it

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  • Explains the importance of being in touch with your core values and how to approach structuring your work around those values.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

  • You will get rejected again and again as an academic. This book shows how you can understand these rejections as opportunities while transforming them from ego crushers to ego boosters.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

  • Learn how to craft your approach to your work. By incorporating cues and automating a lot of your research process, you can get more done with less resistance.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin

  • Understanding all of the intricacies of top performers can inform your work process. There are many subtle nuances to becoming an expert in a field, and this book explores how the good from the great are defined by very subtle differences in everyday decisions.

Top 10 RecSports Things To Do

In this guest post, Kendra Bayne – Assistant Director at RecSports, shares with us that RecSports is about much more than getting a workout in. Keep reading to see all that they have to offer.

Are you an incoming graduate student at the University of Notre Dame looking for some awesome things to do this coming year? If you are, then you’ve come to the right place! Here at Notre Dame RecSports, we have a variety of offerings for our graduate students to get involved in so you can stay active, meet some new friends, and enhance your graduate experience while at the university. We have compiled a top ten list to give our incoming graduate students a starting point as they begin their search into Notre Dame RecSports.

 

  1. Add a certification to your resume

    One of our most beneficial offerings here at RecSports are our Certification Classes. RecSports offers American Red Cross certification courses for Adult CPR/AED and First Aid. These blended courses combine award-winning, engaging and interactive online simulation learning plus an in-person classroom session to learn and practice critical lifesaving skills for certification. Click here to learn more about our certification classes and how to sign up!Experience Intramural Sports – One of the largest traditions on the campus of Notre Dame, Intramural Sports offers the opportunity for students to participate in various leagues and tournaments throughout the year. Notre Dame is considered to have one of the most unique Intramural Sports programs in the country and graduate students have the ability to participate in a few of these unique sports such as broomball and curling. Click here to learn more about for more information on our Intramural Sports!

  2. Join a Club Sport 

    From rowing to volleyball, rugby to boxing, our club sports are a great way to engage in physical activity on and off campus. Club sports can challenge you to learn a new skill or improve your abilities in a sport you have played all your life. Additionally, the social aspect of joining any of our club sports allows you to meet new people on campus, forge strong friendships, and become an active member in the Notre Dame community. Click here for more information on our club sports!

  3. Conquer the Climbing & Bouldering Wall

    Built in 2017 by Eldorado, the Climbing & Bouldering Wall are made up of both high-performance paneling and real rock textures for the maximum variety of terrain. With over 2,000 sq. ft. of climbable surface, the walls feature a diverse mix of routes accommodating all climbers from beginner to advanced. Click here to learn more about the Climbing & Bouldering Wall!

  4. Try out Group Fitness Classes

    Tired of working out alone? Group Fitness Classes are the cure to that! Meet some new friends as you enjoy a wide variety of group fitness classes that accommodate a range of skills, interests, and age groups. Click here to check out all of our group fitness classes!

  5. Learn through Instructional Series

    For those looking to learn a new skill, such as Tai Chi or Partner Latin Dance, RecSports programs a large menu of instructional classes. These classes meet for a series of weeks rather than semester long, and lessons build upon each other. Click here for more information on our instructional series by visiting our website!

  6. Sign up for Personal Training

    If you’re looking to get serious about your exercise and physical activity, then hiring a personal trainer can be a great way to make a real change in your life. A personal trainer can help you improve your confidence by designing a fitness program unique to your needs and goals. Learn to improve your body’s functional movement through the use of safe and effective exercises that will keep you energized and ready to take your life in a whole new direction. Click here for more information on personal training, check out our website!

  7. Participate in the Domer Run

    Whether you would like to participate in the event or be a volunteer, everyone should be a part of the annual Domer Run! The Domer Run is a fun run with proceeds that are donated to the Gyna Girls of the RiverBend Cancer Services, whose mission is to support women with gynecological cancers, to educate others in recognizing gynecological cancer symptoms, and to be proactive in their own health. Click here for more information on this amazing event!

  8. Work at RecSports

    Each year, RecSports hires enthusiastic customer service oriented individuals to assist us in providing exceptional programs, facilities, and experiences for the Notre Dame community. Working for RecSports allows you to gain experience and transferable skills outside of the classroom. If you would like to work for RecSports, click here to view the process to working with us!

  9. Visit our Facilities

    RecSports has several amazing facilities that graduate students may access with your Irish1Card from sunrise to sunset, including the Smith Center for Recreational Sports in the Duncan Student Center, the Climbing & Bouldering Wall, Rockne Memorial, North Dome, and St. Joseph Beach. Whether you want to exercise or go for a swim at the beach, RecSports’ facilities are the places to visit! Click here to learn more about all of our facilities!

 

We hope that this list has provided all of our graduate students an informative start to their search into RecSports and that they will utilize their status as a graduate student of the University of Notre Dame to its full potential and stay active with us! If you have any questions or just want to continue your search, visit our website here. We can’t wait for you to join us!

 

Smith Center for Recreational Sports is located on the 3rd floor of Duncan Student Center