Natalie Weber | May 12, 2018
Senior Timothy Hopkins always knew he wanted to join the military. This wasn’t his only childhood dream, however — he had also wanted to attend Notre Dame. Yet, coming out of high school, he said this goal was out of reach.
“For me personally, in high school, I was going to summer school,” he said. “Notre Dame was always a dream of mine but it was never something I could have materialized. Academics weren’t a priority.”
Instead, Hopkins said he planned to enlist in the military and used this as an excuse to ignore his studies. From 2010 to 2014, he served in the Army and was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. During this time, he deployed to Afghanistan a total of four times.
“Our primary mission was we targeted high-value targets, so everything was a kill or capture and it was a night raid, so we would actually sleep all day and then we’d wake up as the sun was going down,” he said. “We would get our information if we were going out that night on a mission and our missions would generally last maybe three to five hours, and we were getting back to base as the sun was coming up.”
Going into the military, Hopkins said he gained a new perspective on life.
“I was a child mentally, physically — I was just a kid and I just left [the Army] with life experience,” he said. “And it wasn’t necessarily like on day one when I got on the bus I was a different person. It was a gradual thing that happened where I just kind of matured. I took ownership of myself and my actions.”
After serving in the Army for four years, Hopkins attended Colorado State University for two semesters and the University of South Carolina for another. Then, in 2016, he fulfilled a childhood dream — he transferred to Notre Dame.