Four Years at 1100 Laramie; Farewell From a Senior


Kevin Duffy, Writer

It is impossible to sit back and write, in a single article, how spending four years in the hallways of Loyola Academy has changed me and helped me grow. While there may be a part of me that wants to say “good riddance,” there’s an even bigger part of me that wants to say “thank you.” My high school experience was far from normal, or even ideal, but through good times and bad, it’s important to reflect on how far myself and all of us have come.

I remember my first day almost as vividly as I remember this day, my last day, as a student at Loyola. In August of 2016, I vividly remember tossing and turning in my bed at the prospect of starting high school only knowing two people, and being surrounded by nearly 2,000 more every single day.

It is safe to say that when I first walked through the doors of Loyola on my first day, I was young, naive, and in a word, lost. I remember walking into the gym on my first day of freshman orientation only to stare at the faces of more than 500 of my classmates, none of whom I knew, but at the same time, they all seemed to know each other.

Freshman year would not go on to define my experience of high school, but it did set me off on the wrong foot. I struggled to find my place, I struggled to be successful academically, and being enrolled in seven honors classes forced me to be around people who were much more successful than myself, or at least, I thought so at the time.

Finding a home has always been a challenge. I’ve lost more friends than I’ve made between these walls, and I’ve struggled at times to stay focused and afloat on the grade book. There is a part of me that blames myself for letting a lot of the last four years pass me by, but I’m glad the mistakes I’ve made in the past have led me to decide what my life will look like in the future.

To any freshman, sophomores, juniors, and maybe even seniors who are about to embark upon a life changing journey, never let a moment pass you by. There is nothing more important than the moment you are in and the people who you are with. It also is important to remember that you are never alone. 

To anyone who may struggle to find acceptance, who maybe eats lunch alone because they have nobody to sit with, to anyone who feels as if sometimes high school is a tunnel where it is seemingly impossible to see the light at the end, fear not. I was once you. And trust me, the light at the end of the tunnel is much brighter when you make the most of the tunnel itself. 

To all the teachers who never cut me any slack, and maybe had to pull me out of some holes in my time here, thank you. To all the friends who I used to have but no longer do for one reason or another, thank you. To all of the friends that I do have, who have made me feel as if Loyola could in fact be a temporary home, thank you. 

It may pain my fellow seniors to remind them that Loyola is in fact just that, a temporary home. Our legacies here will always be marred in the shadow of the unorthodox nature by which our senior year ended, but they will remain nonetheless. 

Our best years are still very much ahead of us, but to Loyola, and all the people that make up its community, for setting me up on this wild and crazy journey, thank you.