Dear Saint Patrick – Jonas Dargis ‘22
Dear Saint Patrick,
A letter cannot quantify the appreciation I have for my experiences at Saint Patrick, nor acknowledge and thank all the meaningful peers, faculty, and administrators who impacted me over these last four years. I hold so many of these memories near and dear to my heart, and I will not forget them as I travel along the rest of my educational journey into adulthood.
The past four years have absolutely flown by, and although that is cliche, there is no other way to describe it. I remember quite distinctly family members and older cousins speaking about how high school would pass quickly, and I would need to make the most of every moment and opportunity that arose. At the time, four years seemed like an eternity, and it would be a drag to ‘survive’ as I deemed it. Thankfully, I can say I did make the most of my time, participating in a multitude of clubs, sports, and extracurricular activities. And those are the very things that set Saint Patrick apart from other high schools.
When I stepped onto campus four years ago, I was a timid freshman, who knew nobody as I was the only student coming from my grammar school. The welcoming atmosphere and Brotherhood could be felt immediately though, as smiling faces and outstretched hands welcomed me through the Belmont doors. As I traversed my new campus, I could not help but notice that the entrance was no charade, because every teacher and administrator that followed was just as kind as those that welcomed me in. Little did I know that I would work closely with many of them as well as the students around me. And trust me at first, I resisted.
But I found myself joining the Book Discussion Club where I could pursue my affinity for reading and meaningful discussions. I threw myself into my studies, dreaming of academic success. Swimming came next, a sport I had loved for years, but never as much as I did that first year on the team. The tight knit group we formed, from every freshman to senior, helped me feel at home early in my Saint Patrick career. It is a lot easier to wake up at 5:00 in the morning when you know your friends will be at the pool when you get there. And just when I thought I could not find any more fun activities to do, Water Polo season started. I fell in love with the game in that first week of practices and never looked back. And, of course, this was supplemented by an even closer group of friends and teammates. I do not think we won a single game that year, but I had so much fun learning everything I could and training with the upperclassmen, I did not care. I can proudly admit that my passion has not faded, and I will continue to play water polo at Xavier University this fall.
I continued to remain involved in these organizations as well as branch out to other clubs during my sophomore year until now. And they all led me to discover different aspects about myself, strengths and weaknesses alike. But further, I was given the opportunity to continue to grow my strengths while also working on my weaknesses. Saint Patrick’s mission was not just to make me a better student, but a more well-rounded individual overall.
One experience I never understood would be so impactful was my Kairos retreat. This not only gave me the opportunity to lead multiple retreats thereafter, but I forged new friendships with both teachers and classmates, reaffirmed my desired career path, and came to understand my fellow Shamrock on a far deeper level. It really capitalized on one of the core Saint Patrick tenants: Brotherhood. A cliche of its own, Brotherhood is a part of everyday life here. You cannot go through four years of a Saint Patrick education without hearing about Brotherhood, but that is for good reason. It was a core reason I got involved in my many extracurriculars and enjoyed them so much. But I have never seen it as strong as I saw it on those retreats, with men hardly knowing each other days before, then heartily embracing one another as brothers.
The lessons I learned during my time here will undoubtedly carry through into college, hopefully med school, and whatever else comes along the way. I would not be the man I have turned into today without the peers, role models, and experiences I encountered. So, thank you, Saint Patrick High. Thank you for these lessons, values, and experiences. Thank you for guiding me through both the hard times and the good. Thank you for helping me discover who I want to be and giving me the right tools to get there. My eye will remain on Saint Patrick High!
Jonas Dargis ‘22
To read the other Dear Saint Patrick letters from the Class of 2022, click here.