Pedro Navarro: Finding home in Sorocaba and Knott Hall

Author: Pedro Navarro

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Pedro Navarro, originally from Sorocaba, Brazil, is majoring in chemical engineering. He shares his story as part of the International Student Reflection series from the class of 2020.

When I think about the fact that I am graduating from Notre Dame, it is still hard to believe. I can perfectly remember the first time I saw the Golden Dome in 2013 when I came to Notre Dame for the iLED program. I can perfectly remember my days in Sorocaba, Brazil, writing my application essays and dreaming about one day getting into this University – this time as an undergraduate student. I still remember the pure happiness that filled me when I received my acceptance letter; it was a dream come true not only for me, but for my family as well. Speaking of family, from my first contact with the University, it was clear to me that this was what Notre Dame was about.

Notre Dame has been my home for the last four years, and especially Knott Hall, my family. Having spent my entire life in Brazil, moving to a different country would be a scary challenge to anyone. Little did I know that I would never feel more welcomed in my life as I did at Notre Dame and Knott Hall. Today, I can proudly say that my best friends and I do not even speak the same first language, but I can’t imagine my life without them.

I can’t imagine my life without some of the most inspiring people I have ever met, who have and will continue to make great impacts in this world in the most diverse professional fields.

I can’t imagine my life without these friends who welcomed me to their own homes, took me to their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, introduced me to their own cultures, and made me know more places in their country than I know in my own.

As graduation nears, I can only be grateful for the many memories at Notre Dame. I will miss the tailgates, the football games and my friends explaining to me all the game rules I did not know. I will miss the nights studying for exams with my friends from chemical engineering and the challenges we solved together every day.

I will miss my theology, history, and philosophy classes, which allowed me to participate in unique discussions that helped shape the person I am today.

I will miss the inspiring conversations with our faculty, who are not just academically brilliant, but who truly care about each one of us, and made me feel prepared to any professional path I choose to take.

I will miss Knott Hall, 2B, my roommates, who motivate me every day, who care about me, and inspire me.

I will miss our inter-hall soccer games, where a victory or loss showed us that in Knott Hall, we were a family, no matter what the circumstances were. I am forever grateful to this University that, as much as Brazil, felt like home from day one.

I am forever grateful for the family I made at Notre Dame, and for the memories I will cherish for a long time to come.

Originally published by Pedro Navarro at on May 15, 2020.