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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

I found brotherhood

Gonzaga’s Bell Tower. Photo by Preston Thomas ’24

Over the past four years at Gonzaga, I’ve truly learned what brotherhood is. Since I’m not one-half of the numerous twin brothers that go to our school, I haven’t found brotherhood through genetic relationships but through connections developed over years of bonding with the people around me. 

Freshman year Preston would never believe me if I could go back in time to tell him that “in four years, you’ll be graduating school with a pack of new brothers.” Back then, I didn’t understand what brotherhood was. To 13-year-old me, a brother is someone who shares parents with you, lives in the same house as you, and looks like you (with slightly less attractive features, of course.)

I didn’t understand that a brother could be someone who grew up an hour away in a random Virginia neighborhood that you trust with your deepest secrets. I didn’t know a brother could be someone I didn’t share much in common with. I didn’t know a brother could be someone who looks nothing like me. 

When I tried out for the crew team freshman year, I would’ve never thought I’d be introduced to a group of lifelong friends whom I’ve bonded with in the weirdest way possible. Pain, given out workout after workout by our coaches, allowed us to bond; we suffered through things together. Years of blood, sweat, and tears together created bonds that are deeper than genetics. For me, it’s easy to say that I see all of my teammates as my brothers.

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. every day from the comfort of my bed after being up until 2:00 a.m. doing homework just to drive 45 minutes to school is not often a great feeling. However, being able to share that feeling with hundreds of others who had to do the same thing creates a certain connection. 

When I walk into the Upper Commons at 8 a.m. and see my friend facedown on the floor using his bookbag as a pillow, I know exactly what he’s feeling. When I have to go to the library and cram in a study session for a test I didn’t have time to study for, I’d find 10 others doing the same thing. I silently sit down next to my friend and open your book. With just a simple exchange of head shakes and no words, we both know that we’re about to fail this exam. That silent conversation between both people is a result of brotherhood.

Brotherhood is the bond created between individuals through shared experiences. Gonzaga has taught me the importance of brotherhood and the importance of a community. Being able to share common experiences with hundreds of people created a sense of unity and belonging within me and is something I plan to carry with me for the rest of my life.

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