Family isn’t always blood, family is often the people you choose. I chose Xaverian and it was the best decision I could’ve ever made. So, to my second family, thank you.
Thank you for the laughs. The laughs walking through the hallways. The laughs sitting at the cafeteria tables. Or, the laughs in the bathrooms when you run into your friends and you're supposed to be in class. The laughs until your stomachs hurt and your eyes are filled with tears. The laughs with teachers and lunch ladies. The laughs while spending your free periods in Campus Ministry or Alumni Hall. The laughs while your stressed about a test. Or when you're out late because of sports or clubs, knowing you have hours of homework ahead of you. The laughs on hard days when the last thing that seems possible is to smile. For every laugh, thank you.
Thank you for the memories. You often are told that highschool will be the “greatest years of your life” and although the opinion will vary, the memories that came from Xaverian will always be held as the greatest.
Thank you for growing with me. Each day, we grew together. We worked together to become the best versions of ourselves. Like any other family, we pushed each other. We set goals and if we ever lost sight of those or doubted ourselves, there would be a friend (whether student or faculty) beside you to remind you that you can do it and you can do whatever you put your mind to.
Thank you for making everyday feel like home. The list of reasons for this can go on until forever. As Ellen Hopkins once said, “Sometimes the little things in life mean the most,” and at Xaverian it was every little thing. Whether it was the walks into school and hearing Mr. DeFillippo’s “Good Morning” in rain or shine or Mr. Burn’s saying “Hi” to every student he passed. Or, the morning announcements starting with a cheerful “Goodmorning Xaverian” and concluding with the one and only “Have a fantastic day!” A family grew that expanded far beyond the walls of 7100 Shore Road. Students were never looked down upon by faculty, instead, we were treated as not only equals but friends. It was the helping hand that was always there for you, the hours of giving back to the community, the cookie or candy from your teacher after a hard test. It was building a family that was more than being inside a classroom, but inside of new countries, retreats, and service centers. It was the feeling knowing that you could walk into any classroom, room, or office of Xaverian and there would be a smiling face right behind the door, eager to talk and spend time with you.
Graduating now, I learned many lessons from Xaverian. Lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my life. This may not have been how our story should’ve ended, but this isn’t a goodbye. Instead, it’s a long see you later. To my second family and my home away from home, from a member of your Clipper family, thank you for everything.