By George Raphael-McElroy ‘23

“Everything will be just fine, everything will be just fine.”

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that during your senior year. It’s your final year before “going into the real world” and, damn, is it a little scary to think about at times! I mean, I’m not even sure what I’m going to be doing next weekend, and now we have to decide what we are going to do for the rest of our lives. Uh-oh!

Although my senior year was amazing, there were some things that I wish I knew before going through the year. One thing that younger and or future students at Brother Rice should know is that you should do what you love and be who you are in high school. Don’t worry too much about what others think of you; it will just distract you from your goals and stop you from being the best version of yourself. Trust me, once you find out who you really are, your time at Brother Rice will be even better.

One thing that I am extremely grateful for while being at Brother Rice is attending Kairos 163 as a candidate. I know you hear everyone say it, but it can really change your life or even just the way you might have viewed certain things. Going on Kairos 163 is definitely one of my favorite things that I have done at Brother Rice. I have grown so close with several people on that trip that I had not even spoken to prior to attending.

Another thing that you should do at Brother Rice is get involved no matter what way, whether it be clubs and activities, or being on a sports team. There is a good chance you will meet your best friends, or even possibly your best man and groomsmen on your sports teams (ha ha ha!) At least that was the case for me! I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a hot and sunny day of freshman year, and two other kids and I from the soccer team went to Wojos after soccer before a home football game. Neither of us were really friends or anything yet kind of just going because we were familiar with each other.

One of those kids was my best friend Danny O’Brien. All three of us were just awkwardly sitting there drinking shakes and trying to keep a conversation going so it wouldn’t become more awkward. Well, apparently that was pretty hard since we just started to play with the condiment bottles! We were sliding them across the table to each other, trying to get one another to drop the bottle. It was pretty dumb, but we didn’t have anything else to do, and it got us to keep talking. At some point during the game, Danny picked up the ketchup and tossed it in the air and caught it. When he caught it, the ketchup inside slammed against the cap of the bottle and the ketchup squirted all over him. It was a little dumb but a core memory for sure!

Besides making friends on sports teams, being on a team really teaches you the importance of brotherhood and discipline. We go to battle for each other every game and we all play together just to achieve greatness in winning. We showed up to practices every day…no matter how exhausted we were. We all pushed each other to be great which is something everyone needs.

Throughout my final year at Brother Rice, I have learned so much that will not only help me with my next four years at college, but also for the rest of my life. The bonds I have created, the people I have met, and the memories I made will stay with me for the rest of my life. I don’t think I would be the same person I am today if I never went to Brother Rice. I couldn’t be any more thankful for my mom sending me here and for all of the teachers and staff that shaped me into who I am over these short amazing four years. If I could relive these four years with my Brother Rice family, I would but I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you, Brother Rice, for everything.