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Dear Saint Patrick – Michael Donovan ’19

Dear Saint Patrick,

Throughout middle school I had no doubt about where I was going to high school. I knew I would follow my two older brothers’ path to St. Pat’s. This was a little scary for me considering I went to public school in Park Ridge for my entire life. In addition, I didn’t know anyone else going to St. Pat’s. I would soon learn that this would not be a problem because of the various friendships I would make throughout my four years with other Shamrocks. 

My four years’ worth of experience at St. Pat’s has turned me into the person I am today. Going into high school, I knew that my grades would not be a problem because I have always been a good student. St. Pat’s improved my academic abilities to the point where I know I will be ready to succeed in every class I take at the University of Wisconsin next year. I have also grown as a leader throughout my four years. St. Pat’s environment was so friendly and welcoming that it made me want to join three sports, two of which I have never tried before. My experiences on these teams has turned me into a leader. Because of this, I was named captain for the golf, swimming, and water polo teams my senior year. Furthermore, the retreats at St. Pat’s greatly affected who I am today. On our Kairos retreat I was taught a very valuable lesson that you never know what troubles another person is going through. It is such a simple lesson, but it is hard to grasp unless you go through an experience like Kairos. This lesson will stick with me for the rest of my life, and I am grateful for this.

The Brotherhood that is displayed at St. Pat’s is unlike any other school. This is because St. Pat’s has students from all over. There are students who come from various neighborhoods of Chicago, various suburbs, and even students who come from outside of the United States. Interacting with all of these people from different places helped me learn to treat people the same, no matter what the circumstances. If I would have gone to a public school in Park Ridge, it would have most likely taken me longer to learn this skill.

One of the most important values that I learned at St. Pat’s is to treat people with respect. I’ll be honest and say that I did not get along with everyone throughout my high school career, but this doesn’t mean that I didn’t treat them with respect. Every human deserves to be treated respectfully and I believe that St. Pat’s does a great job of making sure everybody understands that.

One thing that I will always remember is being in the Stud Section at football and basketball games. Being in the Stud Section taught me that I should always support my peers. Doing this helps them succeed. I’ve noticed that whenever the Stud Section is big and rowdy, the football or basketball team plays better. Because I went to the football and basketball games, I know that it is crucial for me to support those who are important to me in the future.

I have matured a lot since freshman year. The biggest growth in my maturity has to be with scheduling my time. Freshman year I would never check the schedules for golf, swimming, water polo, and Jazz Band, and often there would be conflicts between the activities. I wouldn’t notice these conflicts until it was too late to change anything, and I would end up missing one of the activities. Since then, I have learned to look at the calendar more often to see if there are conflicts between my various commitments. This will be a skill that will be useful my entire life so that I can be a responsible adult.

It will be hard leaving St. Pat’s because of all the wonderful memories I have had here. I am grateful that I joined many clubs and activities throughout my high school career so that I could be involved with the different parts of the St. Pat’s community. Because of this high school, I am prepared to study Accounting at the University of Wisconsin, and I am prepared to take on the rest of my life.


Michael Donovan ‘19

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