Lauren Lampinen- From Plant to Notre Dame


Luka Vaicekauskas

Posing then and now, a former Plant High School student, Lauren Lampinen, shares about her experience at Notre Dame University. Now, after spending 4 years at Plant High School, Lampinen just finished her first semester at Notre Dame as an electrical engineering major.

Luka Vaicekauskas, Features Editor

Lauren Lampinen, a PHS’ 22 graduate, is a current student at Notre Dame University, initially majoring in Civil Engineering, but I recently switching to Electrical Engineering. Studying at a rigorous and selective school ranked in the top 20 of all national universities is an accomplishment worth noting, but with the rigorous and involved schedule Lampinen maintained while at Plant, the acceptance letter was merely a surprise. In this interview, Lampinen shared her most memorable moments at Notre Dame, tips for future applicants, as well as throwbacks to her high school years at Plant. 

Tell me a little bit about your experience at Plant. What clubs or other activities you were part of, ect. What teachers inspired you most? Any athletic activities you were part in? 

“At Plant I was a part of some academic honor societies and service clubs. All of my teachers at Plant were super great, but the ones that inspired me the most were my math and science teachers, especially my junior and senior years, because they helped me decide to major in engineering in college! I honestly did not have much time to take part in a lot of activities at Plant because I was a competitive figure skater all throughout high school so I would leave school after 4th period every year so that I could train for skating,” Lampinen said. 

How did you decide that Notre Dame was a place to be? 

“When I was applying to colleges, I did not really know where I wanted to go. I just started to applying to any college that someone suggested and only applied to Notre Dame because my younger brother has always wanted to go to Notre Dame. It wasn’t until mid November or December of 2021 that I actually read about all the schools I applied to and realized that Notre Dame was really my dream school. After I got accepted to ND, I went to visit it last April during the admitted students days and just absolutely fell in love. It has the perfect classes for what I want to do academically, as well as a great culture that I think anyone would want to be a part of,” Lampinen said. 

How was the application process to apply to Notre Dame? What do you think stood out in your application? 

“I applied to Notre Dame through the common app, so on top of the common app essay, there were two supplemental essays and I think two teacher recommendations. I put a lot of effort into these essays because Notre Dame is test-optional so the essays are truly what they look at for their applicants. Notre Dame is one of those schools that really cares about the type of people they accept, rather than just admitting the applicants with the highest test scores. For my supplemental essays, I wrote about my name and why I wanted to attend Notre Dame. I tried to connect aspects of my life throughout high school and how I would continue those things into college. I was very honest and vulnerable in my essays and talked about how I wanted to change my community, rather than just the academic benefits of attending a top-tier university. I think being so vulnerable in my application really helped me get accepted because Notre Dame values honest people over good test scores,” Lampinen said. 

What are you studying at Notre Dame? 

“I originally applied to Notre Dame as a Civil Engineering major but I recently decided to switch to Electrical Engineering. Notre Dame has all first-year engineers take an engineering design course which helps us learn engineering basics and helps us decide which type of engineering is best for us. It’s also required in Notre Dame’s core curriculum to take philosophy and theology classes, which I have really enjoyed because it helps keep a healthy balance,” Lampinen said. 

How is your ultimate experience at Notre Dame? What is your favorite part about it? 

“So far my time at Notre Dame has been really great! I was a little nervous about coming to ND because it is a Catholic school and I had gone to public school my entire life, but at Notre Dame they encourage you to practice Catholicism, or any religion, as much or as little as you want. I’ve really enjoyed all my classes, the professors here are all very helpful and want every student to succeed. I’ve also really enjoyed the dorm culture… there are no sororities or fraternities at Notre Dame and everyone randomly gets assigned to a dorm freshman year. The dorms act as sororities and fraternities but with only the good parts because we don’t have to stress about rushing or paying dues! That being said, my favorite part of Notre Dame has to be the football games. I know that’s a little cliche but there is truly nothing like a Notre Dame football game,” Lampinen said. 

What is one tip you would give someone applying to Notre Dame? 

One tip that I would give someone applying to Notre Dame is to not stress about test scores and show the admissions team who you really are. Notre Dame looks for students who want to help others and really want to see change in the world. I know that people say this for every school, but at Notre Dame I think test scores really do not matter a lot. Of course you have to have decent grades but the essays and the overall personality you show the admissions team in your application is really what they look at! I also would just encourage anyone who is thinking about to Notre Dame to apply because I promise you will love it!” Lampinen said.