By Patrick Carney ’22 – Team Leader

Regardless of where you look to go to high school, everyone tells you one thing: “the time flies by.” Now looking back on my four years, I can confirm that this is absolutely true. Especially senior year.

After searching for potential colleges over the summer, I began compiling a list and beginning applications. While daunting at first, I managed to submit an application to numerous schools and, thankfully, I was accepted to a number of them. In my opinion, the fall of your senior year, in combination with either sports, new classes, or college applications, is the busiest time of your life up to that point.

If I learned anything from applying to college, it is that organization matters. The endless stream of emails, brochures, and information is undoubtedly overwhelming, and the only thing you can do is organize, organize some more, and then stay organized.

After I completed my college applications, I began one of the highlights of my senior year. I decided to lead Kairos 158. For anyone attending a Catholic high school, I urge you to attend a retreat. Besides the occasional all school mass and theology classes, I believe an opportunity like this is the greatest benefit of a Catholic education. Within Brother Rice, faculty who have participated in any retreats, both past and present, are truly exceptional.

As for the rest of my time, I did not spend the majority of it at Rice or doing things affiliated with Rice. The pandemic helped me prioritize what I wanted to do as I began my journey and I decided that it was not playing soccer.

As someone who had played for the previous three years, and for many more before high school, this was a difficult decision. Both my team and coach had been extremely good to me throughout my time in the program, but more importantly, they supported me even when I decided not to play. Coach Prunckle in particular was both understanding and confident in my decision, and I am extremely grateful for that.

After retiring from soccer, I was able to focus on work and service, and I think that both those opportunities have truly shaped my identity as I enter college.

Although I was not the most involved Crusader my senior year and spent my extracurricular time elsewhere, I believe I learned even more about the Brother Rice community and, in particular, the faculty.

Even if you do not feel called to an activity at Rice or wish to find time involved in something else not at Rice, that is ok. There are people here willing to support you in all endeavors, not just Brother Rice ones. They can make Brother Rice like a base of operations for you to explore from as you begin your adult life, and that has been crucial to my senior year experience.

Just as a pilot gains expertise every time he flies through turbulence, I have gained expertise in dealing with all of the ups and downs that life gives you, and that is truly valuable. What I’ve learned so far is this: you need to pursue both what you love and what you find most interesting.

Many thanks to Mr. Creed, Mr. Bergstedt, Mr. Prunckle, and the many more who contributed to my experience at Rice. I have learned so much from this place, but most importantly, I am eager to see what lies ahead.