By Josh Moyar ‘19

So here we are. The end of the line. I sit typing this only moments after I finished my last final (it was calculus, so I’m not too hopeful). I can’t help but wonder where all the time went.

When I got here as a freshman, I heard the same thing over and over again – “It’ll be over before you know it!” Yeah right. Four years of high school would drag on forever, I thought. Man, was I wrong.

Thinking back on this past year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Brother Rice is truly a special place. The memories I’ve made here, especially this past year, will remain with me forever.

My first major event of senior year was Brother Hayes’s physics trip, which was over the summer. It was on this full-blown vacation that I become close with the guys who wound up being some of my best friends at Rice. Seriously, go on this trip if you can. You’ll learn a ton about aerospace physics and geology, and a week on Coco Beach isn’t bad either.

As the school year started, I began adjusting to my new classes and eventually started auditioning for shows. Theatre has always been my favorite extracurricular, and my senior year slate didn’t disappoint.

In the McAuley musical “White Christmas,” I got the amazing opportunity to play Phil Davis. I was never known to be particularly enthusiastic about this role or this show, but as the rehearsal process went on, I became a better actor, a better dancer and a better person thanks to the amount of work I had to put in and, by the end, I cared about this part more than I ever had before.

The Oak Lawn Park District Teen Show came up next, in which I got to play the Cowardly Lion in “Wizard of Oz,” one of my dream parts since I was just a kid. I had an absolute blast every night I was the Lion. Being hidden behind tons of stage makeup and a huge furry suit, I wasn’t afraid of what others were thinking of me or of my public appearance. I’ve never felt more liberated on stage than when I was in that role.

Perhaps the greatest triumph of my theatrical career in high school came with Rice’s very own “Clue: the Play.” I’ve been a member of the Brother Rice Drama Club since my sophomore year and was a stage actor twice before, but this year I set up shop behind the curtain and co-directed the show with my best friend. I got to have a personal hand in taking one of my favorite movies of all time and bringing it to life thanks to an extremely talented cast. Over the course of the four-show weekend, I saw the audience get truly invested in the club’s and my creation, a feeling which is almost indescribable.

This past October, I went on the Kairos 147 retreat. Although I can’t give away too many details, I can say that it was truly a life-changing experience. I never pegged myself as a spiritual person, but Kairos helped me discover my own personal relationship with God and myself. I made new friends and reconnected with old friends. Kairos is possibly my favorite part of my Brother Rice experience, and I cannot recommend it enough to younger students.

Over Christmas break, another BR student and I went to Walt Disney World with three of our close friends from McAuley. The five of us spent three nights in Florida without any adult supervision. In retrospect, I don’t know how we talked our parents into this. It’s moments like these that really make the senior year experience.

In January, I went on two trips with the McAuley theatre department. The first was to the Illinois High School Theatre Fest at University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. There, my friends and I spent the whole weekend seeing shows by other high schools and attending workshops to help enhance our skills. Next, we went to New York City, where we saw four Broadway shows and went on several amazing tours. It was on these two trips that I really became close with my friends in all-new ways.

The rest of semester two was all about adding those finishing touches to relationships I’ve spent the past three years building that will hopefully last for the rest of my life. My friends and I spent more time together than ever before, trying to cram in as many memories as we can before we go away to college.

I could go on and on writing about ugly sweater dress-downs, late night trips to Nonna’s, underwhelming DJ’s and the hours spent just sitting in my car with my best friends, but maybe it’s time to move ahead and let great memories be great memories.

There’s a quote from “The Office,” one that I’m sure all of us seniors will be hearing approximately ten billion more times, that goes, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Freshman year I was too anxious to really enjoy what would be some of the best years of my life. Sophomore year I was too much of a, for lack of a more appropriate word, jerk. Junior year didn’t give me a single second to think about how good I had it. And now senior year has rolled along and I couldn’t make the most of it simply because I was terrified of this moment – the end.

Whatever the future holds, I have no doubt in my mind that Brother Rice has set me up for success. Although I’ll miss my time here and the friends I‘ve made, I’m not as sad about endings as much as I am excited about new beginnings.

No matter what, always remember that every day is a great day to be a Crusader.