Thursday, October 10, 2013

What the Prep has meant to me


It’s a word that every all-male high school in the Philadelphia area throws out to describe itself. From the outside, it’s easy to tell that the Prep has a lot of it. One look at the stands at a Prep-LaSalle football game, at a basketball playoff at the Palestra, and in the theater on opening night reveals throngs of Prep kids, taking time out to support their brothers in all that they do.

But the Prep brotherhood is more than even that.

The Prep is challenging. Every kid here was the smartest, most athletic, or most musically talented person in his grade school. Freshman year, reality sets in. Every Prep student has some moment where he isn't successful. Yet when he comes to the Prep, a group of kids going through the same experience and a group of teachers passionate about helping him surround him. At some point during the hours on the sports field, in the classroom, and the commute to North Philadelphia, you realize that you've become a much more confident, stronger version of your freshman self, and that you have found 250 guys who are willing to do anything for you.

Prep brothers
As the years go on, the bond gets tighter. Kairos and service trips bring the brotherhood to center stage, embracing a mix of Ignatian spirituality and carefree adolescence. Suddenly, there is no other group of people you would rather be with more, inside or outside of school. Freshman year, you go to football games because you feel like you should in order to get involved at “the Prep”, cheering on distant upperclassmen athletes. Senior year, you’re going to football games because those distant athletes have become your best friends, and you want to do nothing more than root on your brothers while surrounded by 500 more - every single one of you chanting, “P-R-E-P. PREP! PREP! PREP!”

The bond here is indescribable. It doesn't truly sink in until senior year, but looking around the dining hall at the faces you've seen every day for 3.5 years, you know. You know that every person there is willing to be there for you when you’re feeling down. Every person considers you his brother, and you consider him yours. And that is what Prep brotherhood is all about.

This blog post was written by Bobby Loftus '14, student council president.

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