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Don’t Blink

Carpe Malvernum: Seizing Malvern and everything in it.

Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy

The great tragedy of life is the crystal clarity of hindsight.

When I first stepped foot on the grounds of 418 South Warren Avenue, I was as an 8th grade prospective football recruit. I came to Malvern partially because I knew a couple of players in the grade above me, and partially due to my godmother’s constant effusive praise for her son’s experience there.

I never thought I would be anything more than a Malvern football player during my four years.

I distinctly remember on this visit a conversation I had with a senior who told me about how he came to Malvern to play basketball, but ended up as a passionate and successful potter who even decided to go to college for his artistic talents.

He told me to not be afraid to branch out and try new things, to not pigeonhole myself to one thing.

I didn’t listen. At least, it didn’t sink in right away.

I spent well over half of my days at Malvern in a sort of grey slumber. I didn’t do what I wanted to do because of a sort of self-imposed peer pressure. I didn’t go out for the musical until my senior year, and it turned out to be one of the most impactful and life changing experiences of my high school years. I didn’t join Mr. Liga’s liturgical music until my final year because I thought I couldn’t sing. I even joined the Blackfriar Chronicle only after a healthy amount of prodding from Ms. Wuetig.

The thing is, once you go for it, you realize how accepting your classmates are and how outright intrigued and happy for you they are that you are trying something new for yourself.

What is so special about Malvern is that you CAN do almost anything you want here. Very few schools have the variety of activities that our Malvern does. We have not only a stellar athletics program, but one that encourages participation in multiple sports. We also have a fantastic and storied theater program, a world class arts center with a plethora of awesome teachers in a variety of artistic fields, a strong and up-and-coming newspaper (*pats self on the back*), and much more.

Malvern is not a jock school. Malvern is not a crazy academics only intensive school. Malvern prides itself on forming well-rounded students who are far from single-minded.

People ask us seniors often, “If you could go back, would you do it again?”

My answer is always the same. Yes. Emphatically yes. I would never choose a different high school. Malvern is what made me who I am. It gave me the tools to fashion myself into exactly what kind of man I want to be.

However, you can’t use the tools if you don’t know where they are.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t be afraid to try something new if you think it may interest you. It may turn into a life changing experience. Don’t hesitate, don’t blink, just go for it.

Nothing is more satisfying than being yourself, unafraid and confident. And honestly, there is no one who is more respected by his peers than a man who does this.

You think poetry is pretty cool and you think you may be interested in trying your hand at it? Go to a Young Poets Club meeting.

Do those international rugby games on ESPN 2 excite you? Talk to Mr. Boccuti, he would be more than happy to tell you about his experience.

To quote the late Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Malvern, what will your verse be?

About Mike McCarthy

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