Thank You For All That You Have Given Me, Seniors


Isabela Cobley

Junior Nadia Kostecka hugging her dear Senior friend, Emily Defeo

Nadia Kostecka

Almost 1,332 days ago, Bishop Blanchet welcomed a new group of students to their community: The Class of 2023. Since then, they have won championships, rallied spirit, achieved great academic success, fought through a pandemic, and much more. 

Now, almost 4 years later, I watch these people, these leaders, who have guided my every high school step, prepare to leave and build their futures all across the country. And selfishly, I wish they would stay put because I am not yet ready to welcome their goodbyes. 

In my sophomore year chemistry class, I met a bright and bubbly girl who, to my surprise, would grow into one of my best friends. I will admit, I never saw a friendship with Emily DeFeo going past a classroom setting, but I am beyond grateful it did. Emily is someone I know I can lean on throughout my worst days. Her sassy comments and our silly conversations unearth a laughter like none other. That laughter is something I am going to miss greatly. I feel like a part of me is breaking off with her as she leaves for college. I will miss that lovely lady so dearly. Thank you for all that you have given me, Emily. 

As I received my schedule for my junior year, I was eager to see journalism on my list of classes. I was excited to further my writing skills with classmates I knew had a passion for writing as well. To my surprise, on the first day of attending journalism, everyone in my class was a senior. I was nervous that my opinions and ideas would be perceived as less important because of their seniority, but I was met with quite the opposite. The community I have experienced in my journalism class has given me so much creative knowledge. Each individual has given me a piece of their spirit I hope to harness always:

Catherine Herber has taught me to express passion for the things I love no matter what. 

Isabela Cobley has taught me that hard work does indeed pay off. 

Sydney Janik has taught me to carry a sense of peace with me throughout all parts of life. 

Gracie Kindred has taught me to bear the spirit of kindness with every person I meet. 

Cheyanne Hicks has taught me that through determination and persistence, anything is possible.

Blake Sandvik has taught me that laughter and joy are the best medicine. 

Emily Defeo has taught me that it’s OK to speak up and stand up for myself.  

I cannot change that these friends are leaving me. The best way to honor them, and to honor their wisdom, is to embody the lessons they have taught me, every day. I will miss their lighthearted souls deeply. Thank you for all that you have given me, Journalism class of 2022-2023.   

While talking with seniors throughout the year, I learned about a special Blanchet retreat known as Kairos. After hearing about how impactful the trip was to so many people, I was convinced to sign up for K73 in the spring. I walked into Kairos with a closed mind and low expectations, and left with a whole new family and the realization that the life that’s been given to me is a good one. This journey to happiness was only possible because of the seniors who led me. The seniors who offered themselves by sharing their stories of adversity and vulnerability. Through this vulnerability, they gave a voice to issues I never had the strength to communicate. To Becca Maw, Taylor Price, Turner McIalwain, Allie Holoman, Catherine Herber, and Brendon Manzano: Your good hearts have given so much inspiration to more than just myself. I hope you know your positive impact has touched the lives of countless people, but especially those at K73. Know that your hard work and dedication does not go unseen. You are all incredible people. I will miss these admirable individuals so much. Thank you for all that you have given me, leaders of Kairos 73.     

There are so many more people I wish I could mention. If we are friends, or even if we just chat lightly in class, know how much you have touched my life. I wish I had time to get to know all of you individually. To The Class of 2023: Thank you for teaching me the beauty of camaraderie and togetherness that Blanchet has to offer. Thank you for leading our school in positivity and acceptance. Thank you for building up the classes below you and for giving them the confidence to show leadership for others. The junior class has some pretty big shoes to fill. I will miss your brave spirits greatly. Thank you for all that you have given me, Seniors.  

As we watch our dear senior friends diverge to different paths, it makes the lyrics of the “The Head and The Heart” song, Rivers and Roads, all too true:

A year from now, we’ll all be gone. 

All our friends will move away

And they’re goin’ to better places

But our friends will be gone away 

Good luck, Seniors, as your journey of life continues. Know that your presence will be greatly missed in the Blanchet halls, but never forgotten. You are forever The Class of 2023. The Bears family loves you all. 

If you take away one thing from your time at Blanchet, let it be the words that built us: Be True, Be Kind, Believe.