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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

The Aquilian

A letter of learning

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams ’24

Gonzaga College High School – it’s a big name and a lot to live up to. Walking into the school for the first time, I was quite daunted, to be honest. Like many others, I had worked so hard to get into Gonzaga, so once I was here, it felt like reaching the peak of a mountain, a moment that took me a while to get used to. My freshman year was bogged down and irreparably changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This caused me to not join many of the clubs that I thought seemed fun or interesting. Because incoming classes won’t have to deal with that, one of my big suggestions would be to challenge yourself. Join any club that interests you. If you end up not enjoying it, you can always step back, but don’t be scared or embarrassed to give it a try.

Another challenge I would issue freshmen with is staying off their phones at lunch. Yes, you can scroll through TikTok, but you can do that in your bed at home, too. Get to know as many people as possible, and if you’re feeling awkward, remember that everyone else is feeling the same way. In my experience, reaching out has always resulted in positive experiences.

The next lesson I learned, which is impossible to understate its importance, is honesty in everything. If you get caught cheating, just admit it and take responsibility. If Student Services calls you out for having an untucked shirt, acknowledge it and move on. When things get unpleasant or more complicated, that’s when lying becomes a problem. Just this year, I had a friend who copied another friend’s homework. Instead of hiding from it after being caught, he admitted to it and was only given three days of JUG. Even though the knee-jerk response might be to lie to avoid trouble, being honest and facing the consequences is always better.

Another aspect that I think is sometimes under-appreciated is wearing the Gonzaga colors, whether it’s in the student section or on the field. Those moments wearing the Gonzaga purple go away faster than you think. This year, my final football game ended in heartbreak, and I realized that I would miss being in that section with my brothers, going crazy. Every opportunity should be seized. You only get around 20 home football games in your Gonzaga career, and if you’re anything like me, the last one will come faster than you know it, so enjoy every single one like it’s your last.

Finally, don’t overlook the easy points. So much of high school pressure is put on big tests and papers, but this can be minimized if you capitalize on the easy points. The daily homework assignments make up 20% of the grade, and then there’s the 10% for participation. These are essentially free points. Turn your assignments in on time and make the most of them so the harder tasks become less daunting. Losing the easy points makes the harder ones that much more difficult, so take the weight off your shoulders and make the most of the opportunities for easy points.


Signing off for the class of 2024, 

Andrew Lavella

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