By Conor Durkin ‘21

Well, here we are, my final article for The Standard. I’m going to be honest; I’ve had some trouble getting this thing started. I didn’t know if I wanted to go happy or sad, funny or serious; I just didn’t know. I still don’t know.

So here goes nothing.

Senior year has been everything but normal. Whether it was wearing a mask to everything, not being able to scream like a lunatic with 400 other kids at sporting events or being at home every other day, we weren’t given anything like years past.

We didn’t have sold-out Marist games or 6:30 am tailgates. We didn’t have 100 people gathered in the lunchroom to watch the final seconds of the opening March Madness games. We weren’t even allowed to go to school with half of our classmates.

I do have a quick side note here. Freshmen and sophomores, I know this year has been extremely difficult for a lot of you guys. I know that a lot of you freshmen haven’t even met the other half of your class. If you feel like you’re not going to be able to make friends because it’s “too late,” you are wrong. I didn’t start hanging out with some of my best friends until the end of sophomore year, and I continue to hang out with different people. Don’t ever feel like it’s too late to make new friends.

So let’s get back to the article. Seriously, this year was like building a swing set without instructions. We just had a bunch of random parts that we were expected to put together and have fun with. I can confidently say I think we did it.

In the fall, we were able to have a beanbag (no, it’s not cornhole, you dorks) and a flag football tournament when almost every fall sport was canceled. We were still able to compete with each other, but most importantly, build friendships.

In the winter, when sports came back, BRTV was able to show every home game to every crazy watching from home. People thought COVID would limit BRTV; instead, it grew. It broadcasted its first-ever swim meet, set up new camera angles for basketball and was still able to broadcast a hockey game.

We were still able to have Kairos retreats. I had the honor of leading Kairos 155 in January. As Mr. Creed always says, “I didn’t think Kairos had a shot this year.” But we did it.

Now we are in the spring, and it seems like every sport that the good Lord created is playing games. Football just ended, and it ended with the most fitting ending ever: an upset win and a field storm. That night was one of the first times all year where I was able to ask the question, “Are things getting back to normal?”

As far as my life goes, we are in the midst of a regular baseball season, currently sitting at 12-4, 1-0 in the CCL. I’m in my last week of school as a crusader. All of the seniors are back. Prom is Saturday. It feels like life is normal, and it feels so good. I think it feels so good because of what it took to get through the abnormal, what it took to stay alert and awake on a Zoom call that you didn’t want to be in. It feels good to be done with intrasquad scrimmages and contact days. It feels good to be able to enjoy a proper senior sendoff, something we weren’t sure was going to happen.

It feels good to have Mr. Dolan pump us up to take an AP Exam. It feels good to hear Ms. P threaten to beat me with a stick. It feels good to be able to launch rockets on the football field with Coach Cogs. It feels good to be able to construct radios in physics with Bro. It feels good to hear, “Hola, amigos!” as you walk into Doña’s class. It feels good to be able to celebrate with my teammates after a big play.

It feels good to say that I’ll be a Hoosier next year.

This year has made me realize, nothing in your life is guaranteed, so you better cherish every waking moment in your life: the good, the bad, the glad, the sad.

So thank you, Brother Rice, for the best four years of my life; here’s to the next four, and the four after that. I am proud to say I’m a Crusader for life!