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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

What I learned from my time at Gonzaga

The soccer team after our win vs. Good Counsel to clinch the #1 seed for the WCAC playoffs. Photo taken by Mr. Devon Leary

As my four years here on Eye Street come to a close, I think about the lessons I have learned— in and out of the classroom. Coming here my freshman year, I was ignorant, as all middle schoolers are, to the larger world outside my small “bubble”. However, the experiences I had throughout high school shaped me into the person I am now. One of the primary life lessons I learned here is how to be a supporting, loving member of a community and what that community should look like. 

When I first started at Gonzaga, I was unsure about what to expect. I knew that the school had a reputation for being academically rigorous, but I wasn’t quite sure what the social atmosphere would be like. However, I soon found out that Gonzaga was more than just a place where students came to learn. It was a community that was built around a shared set of values, and that community was incredibly supportive of one another.

Many of the experiences and relationships that helped me become a supporting member of this community were my involvement in extra-curricular activities. I was a member of the school’s soccer team and grew close with many of those guys as well as people I met in the classroom. These experiences allowed me to connect with other students who shared similar interests and values, and they helped me to build relationships that went beyond the classroom.

At the beginning of my junior year, I lost my best friend, and it changed my whole outlook and perception of life. I was depressed for a long time and felt like a shell of my former self. The Gonzaga community helped save me and really looked out for me throughout that time. The whole situation taught me a lot about myself but also how I should live my life and what a loving community should look like.

I remember my junior year; I was walking in the Upper Commons and happened to walk past a banner that was being made by Fr. Harry Geib, SJ in support of my friend who had passed away and in support of his school. A student approached the table where the banner was resting and asked Fr. Geib what happened. Fr. Geib explained that a student at another school with Gonzaga connections had passed away, so they were making a banner to send to said school. I remember being emotional as I walked away because I felt supported like I had people who cared about me even if they did not even know me.  

Through the experiences I have had on my own, both good and bad, and the ones shared with others in the Gonzaga community, I have grown from a boy to young a man with a wider perspective on the world than I had before and the ability to be a loving participating member of a community.  Learning how to be a loving member of a community like Gonzaga’s is perhaps the most invaluable lesson I will be taking away from my time here on Eye Street and out into the larger world.

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