Dear Saint Patrick – Antonio Iglesias ’22
Dear Saint Patrick,
To say you’ve made an impact on me would be an egregious understatement. The four years I’ve spent in the halls, the classrooms, the theater, the pool, and the rest of your grounds have played a huge role in shaping me into the young man I am today. The students I met became my friends, and then my brothers. The teachers became not only my mentors, but also pillars of support and understanding. The school grounds weren’t just where I spent most of my day, they became my second home. My experiences here have guided the path I now walk, and I wouldn’t change a thing about these past four years.
I actually wasn’t sure I made the right choice of high school at the end of my 8th grade year. The only prior experience with St. Pat’s I had was the previous year’s summer water polo camp. While I loved that camp and it sparked my love for aquatic sports, I didn’t give much thought to the environment I found myself in. It wasn’t until the summer after 8th grade that everything changed. The classes I took that summer introduced me to what an education at St. Pat’s could be like and, even better, they introduced me to my future classmates. That first day blew me away. The teacher was prepared and willing to go out of his way if someone needed extra help. My future classmates were excited, invested and, most importantly, friendly. I formed a group of friends quickly and felt my uncertainty begin to fade. I hoped the next day would be even better, and it was. After another day of class I felt my excitement swell as we were dismissed. The first practice of summer polo would begin that afternoon. Instead of bussing home after class, I stayed in the building because practice would start in just an hour and a half. When I jumped in the water and watched the JV and Varsity players do the same, I felt a difference from last year. I came to realize that these would be my teammates going forward. I began to bond with them, and they welcomed me to the school and team, ridding me of all my nerves. By the time the first day of school came around, I had friends in all my classes, had already met some of my teachers, and was ready to start my four-year journey.
And what a journey it’s been. I got to experience Saint Patrick for all it had to offer. I began to understand what Shamrock Brotherhood meant. It was everywhere from the creative outlet of the theater to the rigid practices in the pool, from the unforgettable energy and bond in the ‘Stud Section’ to the studies and discussions in the classroom. It could even be found in our prayers and passing conversations. The Brotherhood was more than kindness, it was being there for someone you barely knew. It was respect for what it meant to be a brother to someone. It was lifting each other higher and bringing everyone else up with us. I was given opportunities and encouraged to advance my education while choosing my own path. The teachers helped me stay confident in my abilities by helping me when I was stuck. They helped me reach for more challenging classes and gave me the support I needed to excel. I became a part of the diverse student community and met all kinds of people. This nurturing environment allowed me to make friends with students from every corner of the school. These four years have given me the opportunity to learn new perspectives, to support others, and to keep doing so going forward.
Now, at the end of my time here at St. Pat’s, I can’t help but look back and be thankful. I’ve done all that I wanted to and done even more than I could’ve expected. I’ve sang in an ensemble, acted as a villain, swam every event on the board at least once, celebrated victories with cheers and splashes, come away from losses with my teammates at my side and our heads held high, started a club for students to enjoy competitive gaming, created numerous works of art, built a robot with my classmates, learned to value service and volunteering, and so much more. The best part about all of it is that I was never alone to face the challenges, and always with my brothers to share the good moments.
So, to you Saint Patrick, to the school that guided me and countless other young men, to the teachers, faculty, and coaches who make coming to school every day worth it, and to the student body of brothers who make this school what it is, thank you. You’ve helped me discover who I want to be and helped me start on the right path to get there.
With unending gratitude,
Antonio Iglesias ’22
To read the other Dear Saint Patrick letters from the Class of 2022, click here.