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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Gonzaga… it’s something unpredictable but in the end, it’s right

The celebration after winning the WCAC lacrosse championship my senior year. Photo from @hugoshoots on Instagram

When I first learned about Gonzaga, I was around five years old, and my older brother Luke was enrolling as a freshman. I didn’t really understand the concept of high school or Gonzaga at the time, but over his four years on I Street, I fell in love with the school. I was the biggest lacrosse fan, attended every band concert, and took every opportunity to come to Gonzaga’s campus. I knew from a very early age that Gonzaga was where I wanted to be when I got to high school. Over the past four years, I have been working to make that young kid who loved Gonzaga proud of his accomplishments. 

The band Green Day’s song “Good Riddance” has lyrics that can best describe my high school journey: “Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go | So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why | It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time …| It’s something unpredictable But in the end, it’s right | I hope you had the time of your life.” There were many points in my Gonzaga career that felt like I was “not doing it right.” I felt lost because it seemed like everyone else was having a better time than me. The lyrics from this song are a reminder that everything will figure itself out. The journey of high school went by very fast; time did grab me by the wrist and many lessons were learned in time. 

While I learned many lessons during my time there is one that stands out the most— embrace Gonzaga. Embracing Gonzaga can come in many different ways. You can embrace Gonzaga by being a “Man for Others” and being kind to every person you encounter. You can embrace Gonzaga by bringing energy and spirit to the various activities like sporting events and retreats. This idea of embracing Gonzaga comes from Mr. Jim Kilroy, Assistant Headmaster for Student Life, he gave a challenge to our class to “Say Yes to Gonzaga and Gonzaga will Say Yes to You.” This idea of saying yes impacted me so much that I wrote about it in my college application essay. I believe that embracing everything Gonzaga had to offer led me to love and appreciate the school even more than I thought I could have. I have many peers who simply like Gonzaga for just being a high school and are very much done with it because they don’t embrace it as much as I do. It is different for me; I feel connected to this school because it has given me so much.

The opportunities I have had at Gonzaga have been more numerous than I could have imagined. My opportunities in WZAG and Sports Broadcasting have taught me that I have a love for media, something I am now going to study in college. I never thought I would be able to commentate a game with Mike Wilbon from ESPN or visit a live recording of his show, but embracing Sports Broadcasting Club allowed me to. 

When I stepped on campus as a freshman, I knew I wanted to participate in campus ministry. I got involved with the retreat team and it gave me more meaningful and impactful relationships and experiences than I could have dreamed of. Going on and leading Kairos grew my relationship with God and my Gonzaga brothers and became an experience I would never forget. I went on two immersion trips with Gonzaga campus ministry, helping me to experience a life different from mine and grow in knowledge about social justice issues. I took social justice in action as my senior religion course which allowed me to serve 15 plus hours in the McKenna Center, the only men’s day shelter on a high school campus in the country, and embrace serving my community. 

My Government and Politics class allowed me to go to a January 6 sentencing and take a walking field trip around the Capitol and Supreme Court and the school organized a chance to meet senate staffers to advocate for social justice issues, two experiences that no other high school in the country could do so easily.

I will never forget the people I have encountered at Gonzaga, there are too many to name but the caring faculty and staff and the fellow students I know call my brothers have all left an indelible mark on me that I truly cherish. The memories of being a JV lacrosse captain, Toastmasters, chilling in the upper commons or outside, Sports Broadcasting, GFR, Kairos, Retreat Team, Immersion Trips, School Dances, being in the training/weight room, WZAG, and Varsity lacrosse traveling to California and Flordia before hoisting a WCAC championship to cap my four years off, will remain with me for life. All of these experiences come from embracing Gonzaga. Everything that Gonzaga has offered me because I have embraced it has led to lifelong relationships and memories that were truly unforgettable, and in the end, Green Day was right: It was something unpredictable, but in the end it was right. I had the time of my life.

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