Pressure and Life on the Dean’s List

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College and pressure are two words that usually fit perfectly together in the same sentence. Taking on the most ambitious classes and extracurriculars is what any self-respecting student tres to do during their four years at college, and trying to make yourself “stand apart from the crowd” is not an uncommon thought.

Meet MurphyKate Montee, a senior math and music major at the University of Notre Dame, a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship and a host of other Notre Dame-granted awards.

She has been on the Dean’s List almost every semester she has been a student there and her achievements, while laudable, also show her genuine dedication to her studies and her future.

“Being strong in my academics has been a part of my life since elementary school, and my parents have always been supportive of all my choices without pushing me into anything," Montee said.  "I love the things I study because they are beautiful, both math and music. I love that there is such a thing as a right answer, and the hunt for the right question always keeps me going."

Montee’s quest for knowledge is not something faked just for the sake of being successful; she genuinely loves what she does and fights for the pursuit of learning more about the subjects she has chosen.

The lack of pressure from her parents that she feels to succeed is also another reason why she feels so comfortable going after the things she wants and proud of the accomplishments she has achieved in her lifetime.

“I’m most proud of the fact that I’ll be able to go to an amazing graduate program in Cambridge next semester to do a Part III program [get a Master’s degree], and then go on to do a PhD program in the United States in mathematics. I can’t wait to see where my future takes me, but I am very pleased with what I have accomplished thus far,” Montee said.

With Montee is an example of the right blend of enjoyment in one’s success, she has not allowed the pressure of being on the Dean’s list or receiving award after award to slow her down in the quest for mathematical understanding and the "hunt for the right question.”


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Sophomore > Journalism and Sociology > Notre Dame

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