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Dear Saint Patrick – Finn Elsmo ’18

Dear Saint Patrick,

I started my Saint Patrick High School career as a 14-year old longing to go to any other school on the planet. The idea of an all-boys Catholic High School was extremely off-putting to me, especially coming from a co-ed public school with a larger student population. Not to mention, all of my friends were going elsewhere. I was petrified of what the next four years would entail. Four years later, I feel the polar opposite. I am heading off to college in a matter of months to play soccer and study film. Reaching these goals would not have been possible without the Home of the Shamrocks. I owe a tremendous thank you to this institution. To start, the teachers. They guided me to become a better student. At most schools I would have been passed off as another below average student, but not at St. Pat’s. From my freshman year to now my GPA went from a 2.8 to a 4.0 and my ACT went from a 15 to a 28. The reason being, the teachers did not give up on me. They were always there to help whenever I needed it, and taught me how to be proactive and manage my time.

I have learned skills in the classroom at St. Pat’s that have set me up for what is going to be a rigorous schedule in the honors college at Augsburg University next fall. Another aspect of the Shamrocks that deserves recognition is the soccer program. Throughout my four years of playing Shamrock soccer I have learned the value of commitment, hard work, and determination. Much like my GPA, the soccer team went from the bottom all the way to the top. My freshman year featured a two-win season in a season with over 20 games. My senior year featured 23 wins with a regional championship as well as the first sectional, super-sectional, and state tournament appearance in school history. It was an experience I would not trade for anything.

Anyone who has attended, or is considering attending, St. Pat’s is aware of how much pride we take in our school’s “Brotherhood.” Let me assure you it is for good reason. In all honesty, for my first three years of high school I did not feel the Brotherhood was as strong as advertised. Not because people were rude or bullied others but because the student body felt the same as I figured it would anywhere else. It was not until this past year I realized how wrong I was. I came to this realization when all of the seniors were gathered in the theatre to listen to a presentation regarding graduation. The gentlemen leading this discussion was talking about his graduation when he said, “Look around this room. These faces that you have seen nearly every day for the past four years aren’t going to be there in a matter of weeks.” Once he said this I was overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude. I felt so thankful for every single one of my classmates and all the memories we had shared together. My mind drifted to my freshman year when a turkey inexplicably ran into the front of the building. It drifted back to when Jalen Nelson hit the game-winning buzzer beater against Notre Dame. It drifted back to the feeling of lifting the sectional championship plaque. It all showed me how alive the Brotherhood truly was and how much it impacted the person I am today.

When I think of teachers and coaches who helped me get to where I am today, a plethora of names come to mind. I could go on for hours about a lot of teachers I have had; however, the one I want to single out is Mr. Doyle. Mr. Doyle’s British Literature class has kept me on my toes from day one. It is obvious that he genuinely cares about his students and how prepared they are for the future. He makes sure we are ready by challenging us with creative projects and assignments known as “Doyle Originals.” While I may have complained about the workload of this class to anyone that would listen, I am incredibly grateful for how it has prepared me for college. I also want to thank my soccer coaches Kyle McClure and Melchor Castro. Over the years they have taught me what it truly means to be a part of a team. It means struggling and losing together just as much as it means celebrating and winning. While I could have done a few less five mile runs or sled pushes, I am eternally grateful for everything they have given me. I can say that I am confident in my ability to perform at the collegiate level because of these two.

Reflecting on my four years here is surreal. All of the memories I have in this building will stick with me as I continue to grow. I started as that 4’11 punk kid who couldn’t care less about school, and am finishing as a young man eager to learn and chase his dreams. It is pretty crazy to think that so much can change in such a little amount of time.

– Finn Elsmo ‘18

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