Submitted by Anthony DiPino, Class of 2020.
During my first day at the Mount, I was shadowing Tyler Collins, the best soccer player in the school who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. You could see the nervousness on my face walking into the school. Little did I know I was walking into the place I would spend my next four years. The shadow day was a success because I wanted to go to Mount Saint Joseph but, mainly because my friends were going, and they have a good soccer team. I did not think it was a particularly “great” school.
Skip to a couple of months later I had to cut my summer short a week early and wake up at 6 in the morning for freshman orientation, what a great start to high school (sarcasm font). I spent the whole week not caring about any of the school history, or rules, or school values. This was how I acted all of freshman year, which is the reason freshman year was the least memorable experience for me. Even the big things like Solution Showcase. I just grinded it out and did not put any care into it, just like I did with everything else regarding school, and I was a B student. This wasn’t a terrible thing, but did I really want three more years of just “getting by.”
Sophomore year was my turning point because of one teacher that showed me what MSJ really stood for, and this teacher’s priority was to make sure that we know how to act, and exemplify being a Mount Man. He always emphasized the point “you only have two more years here, it goes by so fast, make it worthwhile” and wow was he right. It feels like yesterday I was walking into that classroom! If I had to define a Mount Man, I would say it’s the opposite of the first year Anthony DiPino. A Mount Man takes pride in his work and works hard to not just be a better student, but to be a better person. Being a Mount Man doesn’t just give you good grades, St. Joe teaches you to use these values of hard work and put care into everything else that you do. If you apply these to your job you will be successful, into sports you will be successful, and now in college I’m going to be successful. I applaud this teacher because of course, I knew that you need to work hard, but he’s the first person that actually knocked it into my head and forced me to do it.
Junior year was the best year at MSJ for me. Going into junior year all I heard was “it’s so stressful” and “it’s going to be hard, there’s a lot going on”. They were right, I had to keep my grades up, I had to deal with the stress of soccer, I had a girlfriend, and I had to work on college stuff all in one year. I was different this year though, I said to myself that I was going to be the best I can be, and I did it. I worked as hard as I could and exemplified being a Mount Man in everything that I did. I got straight As for the first time in my life. I went from my soccer coach saying “you won’t see the field all year” to becoming first off the bench and scoring goals. Things feel so much better when you work for them. Luckily for me I had a helping hand other than the school pushing me to do the best I can.
My parents were a huge part of pushing me to do better and I couldn’t have done it without them. St. Joe has the same values as my parents, and it was kind of weird hearing quotes and sayings from my teachers and coaches because I’ve heard it all before from my parents. This is good because people that aren’t as fortunate to have parents like I do, will still learn these important values if they go to St. Joe. Junior year in all was one of the best years of my life. I wish everyone could experience what it’s like when the hard work finally pays off, what it’s like to see the straight As on your report card after hundreds of hours of homework and studying. I wish everyone could experience the joy of what it’s like to score a goal in a Varsity soccer game after working for hundreds of hours trying to improve your game just to get playing time.
I applied these values again into my senior year and it was another great year and now going into college I will use the same formula to be the best possible me!