Alumnus of the Issue: Chris Ayres ‘21

Malvern Alumnus and former Sports Editor for The Friar’s Lantern, Chris Ayres, shares his college experience so far in his freshman year at the University of Notre Dame.


Photo: C. Ayres

Ryan McLaughlin, Contributor

While most people would do anything to have an extended Christmas break from school, Ayres was “counting down the days” until he could return to Notre Dame for the beginning of the second semester. 

“It’s just a place I love to be at…I felt right at home and I’m really glad I chose Notre Dame,” Ayres said.

Currently, Ayres is majoring in Economics and has applied to Notre Dame’s business school, with the intention of double majoring in both Economics and Business Analytics, while also considering a minor in Theology. His passion for pursuing the study of economics comes from his days of taking AP Economics at Malvern. 

“I had Mr. Ostick for [AP] Economics at Malvern, which is where I decided I wanted to be an Economics major because I was drawn to it right away in his class,” Ayres said. 

Ayres explains that the intense academics offered at Malvern have greatly prepared him for the academic rigor at Notre Dame; however, there are some differences in both environments. 

“I think Notre Dame is rigorous in terms of workload, but you have a lot more free time in college. At Malvern, you have to be in for homeroom, then the rest of your day is structured for you. Now, I just show up to my classes and the rest of my time throughout the day is my own,” Ayres said.

At Malvern, Ayres was able to discover his strengths and weaknesses, ultimately making him a better student and more prepared for college.

“I think the biggest thing I took from Malvern was time management skills. I find that I can get my work done and still leave time to go to football games, exercise, hang with friends, or even just relax and play my guitar. Making use of my open periods and breaks was something I emphasized during my senior year in preparation for Notre Dame, and it has paid off immensely so far because it allows me to enjoy college more fully,” Ayres said. 

With the time management skills he has developed at Malvern, Ayres explained that he is able to enjoy being involved in many clubs and activities at Notre Dame. 

“I played inter-hall [intramural] tackle football, which isn’t a thing at most colleges so I had a great time with that. In addition, I am in the Investment Club, the Wall Street Club, and joined the bone-marrow donor registry through a club called Gift of Life,” Ayres said. 

Ayres has also enjoyed the many opportunities that Notre Dame offers for its students to strengthen their relationship with God. 

“I’ve attended Catholic school since kindergarten, so I feel really connected to my faith, and Notre Dame, being a Catholic university, was a big draw for me because I knew I’d have opportunities to expand my faith. Even beyond the classroom, places like the chapel, my dorm, the Grotto, and our basilica are all great places to enjoy God’s presence. I even started going to Mass multiple times a week and going with a group to pray the rosary at the Grotto a few nights a week,” Ayres said. 

Ayres acknowledges that the Malvern brotherhood is truly authentic and that leaving Malvern last year was bittersweet after all the memories he had created. 

“My favorite memories at Malvern are MECO, which I can’t say anything about, and being with my friends, whether it was in class or out on a field. I think the brotherhood at Malvern is very real, and my friend group from Malvern is something I definitely still have a strong connection to. During the second half of senior year, I started finding enjoyment in just being on campus each morning. My seven years at Malvern were coming to an end, and I wanted to appreciate every moment of it,” Ayres said. 

To Malvern students currently dealing with stress over discerning their future, Ayres offers this advice:

“Personally, I stressed a lot about my [future]. I was worried where I’d end up, if I’d be smart enough to handle it, and a ton of other stuff. It’s natural to be worried about it. But my advice would be that everyone ends up where they need to be. All throughout middle school and high school I wanted to play college baseball and had opportunities at some schools, but I felt like Notre Dame was the right place for me. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I know that the experience I’m having is even better than I expected, and have no regrets about giving up on playing baseball because I know I would not be as happy anywhere else,” Ayres said.

When he returns for his second semester, Ayres remains ambitious in the pursuit of knowledge in Economics and Business Analytics, while also looking forward to enjoying the many clubs and activities that he is involved with at the University of Notre Dame.