By Sean Mahanes ‘21

Senior year has been unconventional, to say the least. Much like everything else throughout the past 12 months, the expected quickly turned into the unexpected, as homecoming dances and football games morphed into quarantines and Zoom meetings.

Still, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Don’t get me wrong; this past year has been unbelievably hard—deaths of family members, loss of jobs—the list goes on and on. However, as the old saying explains, “There’s beauty in the struggle.”

My senior year has certainly been beautiful in its own unique way, not because of sporting wins or fun parties, or any of the conventional features of senior year, but because it’s allowed me to understand what’s truly important in my life.

Before the pandemic, I took so much for granted. I couldn’t fully comprehend just how fortunate I was to be able to attend Brother Rice, to see my friends every day, to compete in sports.

It wasn’t until all of this was taken away that I began to realize how much the Brother Rice community really meant to me. Sitting at home last March, things that had been insignificant just a few weeks before became all that I could think about.

I longed for the animated chats at lunch, the pre-class sports debates, pickup basketball games, the inside jokes, and every other small moment in between. I discovered that these everyday occurrences and the relationships that developed through them are what kept me going day after day.

This epiphany inspired me to make the most of my senior year, despite the circumstances. I made it my mission to appreciate the small things before it was too late.

Reflecting on the past year, I think it’s safe to say that I accomplished my goal. I’ve developed a new appreciation for my friends, coaches, and teachers that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

I just wish that there was more time, because now, it’s all over. We’re finally there—the end of the line.

In just a few days, I’ll walk the halls as a Brother Rice student for the last time. It almost seems cruel that just when I began to truly cherish what I had, it’s going to be taken away.

Still, even though I may be gone, a piece of my heart will always remain in that building. It will join the collective spirit of each and every Crusader that came before me, inspiring generations to come.

Brother Rice will always be my home.