Ask any of Gonzaga Prep’s seniors and the only thing most of us would probably agree on is that our class is as different as they come. “Smart kids,” “jocks,” art lovers, and all other possible types come together to form the class of 2005. Everyone has a unique image of Prep, and someone will always be available to challenge an opinion. No doubt, not everyone will agree with what I write here.
So how does one write a cohesive essay about our class? The answer came immediately – our common element is also my favorite part of Prep: the spirit of caring and ability to come together in times of need.
This characteristic seems to be the one that all the alumni are most proud of, and our class definitely got a full dose of it. Deeper than just the ability to work together in Spirit Olympics or in the annual food drive, this intangible sense of community was the first difference I noticed after transferring in my sophomore year from a public school in Western Washington.
This is not to say that we are all best friends. Like in any school, our dissimilarities have created cliques, and most of us always hang out in our respective groups. The difference, however, is that the majority of us still care a great deal about our classmates. Our shared experiences have resulted in knowing a lot about each other and have formed bonds that might not be spoken out loud, but which often become evident during difficult times.
For example, I have frequently seen those who would not normally be friends collaborating on a tough homework assignment. If someone needs a ride, even a mere acquaintance will gladly volunteer to help, and if someone is upset, nearly any classmate will try to find out what is wrong, listen to them and give them a hug. We have grieved the losses of some beloved teachers and friends this year, and our class and school community have pulled together and taken care of those who most needed comfort.
I for one will always value the years together and remember the times I have been shown love even from those unacquainted with me. Thirty years from now, I know I will be excited to see a familiar face from high school, and firmly believe that time will not loosen the invisible ties among us. If anyone ever needs support in the future, I feel sure that a classmate will pitch in to help.
This sense of caring and common identity is the greatest gift Prep has given me, and I am ready – hopefully along with the rest of the class – to share this spirit with the world.
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