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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

My time on Eye Street

Jack Donaldson, senior, Mr. Patrick Gallagher, director of college counseling, and Jackson Taylor, senior, pose together for a photo at their service trip to Nazareth Farm. Photo submitted by Jack Donaldson

Nearly halfway through my eighth grade year, I did not know that Gonzaga existed. I planned to go to my public school and continue my education as I had planned. However, now that my Gonzaga career is coming to an end, I could not be more glad that I chose Gonzaga. 

I was worried about having smaller classes because I was used to blending into my large classes and flying under the radar. I only knew one other kid going to Gonzaga when I was going into my freshman year. Despite my nerves about going to my fourth school in four years, I quickly saw the brotherhood that is built within the foundation of Gonzaga. The older guys were quick to try to help me out. The teachers made an effort to get to know me and help me more than I had ever known before. 

I loved going to the football games with my friends and quickly started to make friends with the guys in my classes. Freshman retreat was a great experience and was my first real taste of the Gonzaga experience. 

When COVID hit, I lost some of the brief connections with my friends that I had just started to grow closer to. However, Gonzaga did a great job with handling the pandemic and offered a quick turnaround with the online classes. I was happy to be able to go back into school the next year even if I had to do it with a mask. Part of the reason that the pandemic went smoother at Gonzaga than other schools is the love that people have for Eye Street. People wanted to be able to get back to the place they love. Even through trying times, I saw the love that the community had for Gonzaga. 

As covid regressed and the pandemic’s intensity started to wind down, I received the experience of Gonzaga I knew and loved once again. I was able to play and win a championship with the tennis team. I went on Kairos, which is arguably one of the best and most important things a student can do at Gonzaga. I have not felt the spirit of Gonzaga and love like I did anywhere else other than the Loyola Retreat House. There are not many schools where you can get an experience like Gonzaga Kairos. 

I had the opportunity to go on a service trip and live out the spirit of Gonzaga. I have done service for Gonzaga; however, immersing myself within a community and learning the culture of those I was serving was another unique experience. Gonzaga helped me get a better understanding for service and made me understand why I should serve. The McKenna Center, S.O.M.E., as well as the Franciscan Monastery, were just some of my service opportunities that I had the opportunity to help at throughout the school year. Being able to make a direct impact in your community was the biggest thing I took away from serving throughout D.C. I do not serve because I want to fill out an hour requirement. I serve because I strive to live out God’s will and make the world a better place.

Now that I am entering my final weeks here at Gonzaga, the aspect I will miss the most and what I have valued the most are my relationships with my friends and teachers. The experiences and opportunities I have had at Gonzaga to build my friendships into what they are today are highly unique and like no other. I may not have the experiences I had at Gonzaga throughout other stages in my life and that is okay. I will leave Eye Street with unforgettable memories and the knowledge of what it means to be a true brother and good man for others. I will use what I have learned at Gonzaga all throughout my life and will never forget my four years here. 

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