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Dang, has it been that long?

Myself+from+the+first+day+of+freshman+year+%28left%29+to+my+senior+prom+%28right%29.
Myself from the first day of freshman year (left) to my senior prom (right).

Myself from the first day of freshman year (left) to my senior prom (right).

Myself from the first day of freshman year (left) to my senior prom (right).

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Life is full of expressions and feelings.  We often express what we’re feeling to others, verbally or non-verbally.  While writing this, I was thinking of how I could express myself in gratitude for what Mount Carmel has done for me in the last four years, but the truth is, I don’t know how.  The struggle…the work…the commitment that this institution has put me through has made me the person I am today.  I know that sounds a little corny, but it’s the truth.  One can only understand it once he completes his MC journey.  It’s something that I can’t put into words.

I remember my first day of freshman year, almost four years ago (dang, has it been that long?).  It was a bright and sunny day, and I commuted to MC for the first time by train.  Everyone on the train seemed to be in a good mood, with everyone talking and laughing in enjoyment.  It was like a scene from a movie.  That day, I met my brothers for the next four years.  Each student acted like he wanted to be there to receive a Mount Carmel education.  I took pride in being a part of those people.  Meeting the faculty was also a big part of that day.  I then realized the mission these teachers followed, and that they weren’t just faculty members – they were mentors.

As the years went on, I began to learn more and more of what it means to be a Man of Carmel.  The more I struggled – whether it was in or out of the classroom – I kept moving forward.  If I was struggling in a certain class, I would stay up an extra hour or two to make sure I understood the material.  On top of an hour and a half commute every day, this wasn’t easy.  I often thought about quitting.  In fact, I considered transferring to my local public school at the end of my sophomore year.    I asked myself, why am still doing this?  I can have a much easier high school experience if I went elsewhere….

After giving it a lot of thought, I ultimately decided to stick by MC’s mantra of struggle and dedication, and return for my junior year.  This ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Although the workload piled on even more, I continued to attack the struggle, knowing that in the end it would all be worth it.  Because of my decision to stay at MC, I branched out my interests in reporting and writing, and took part in the Caravan newspaper and the Caravan Broadcast Network.  This led me to choose to study journalism in college, which I will be pursuing at the University of Missouri this fall.  This wouldn’t have happened if I had transferred from MC.

There are too many people to thank for making this experience possible, but first and foremost, I’d like to thank my parents.  Without their sacrifices and belief that I could get to the finish line, none of this would have been possible.  Thank you, Mr. Antonietti, for sparking my interest in English.  Thank you, Mr. Bogucki, for showing me what it means to be a person of integrity inside and outside of the classroom.  Thank you, Mr. Haggerty and Mr. Vrechek, for encouraging me to expand my interests in journalism.  Thank you, Mr. Keeley, for always being available to talk.  Thank you to all 147 of my brothers, for pushing me to limits every day and forming special relationships throughout these four years.  And thank you to everyone else that was a part of this journey.

Although my journey at MC will end soon, I will never not be a part of the community.  As a near-alum, I will continue to give back, and visit campus as often as possible.  I will still keep in touch with most of classmates, and hope to still hold strong relationships with them when we go our separate directions.

My high school experience was different from a typical teenager’s, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Now, for the rest of my life, I will be proud to say that I was a part of the Mount Carmel Class of 2017.

 

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Dang, has it been that long?