Personal Experiences

Santa Clara in California was my first-choice college. The school’s admissions people liked that I took so many Honors courses at De Smet, so that really helped get me into my first-choice school. As far as my classes now, I go to school with a lot of California kids, and it seems we did a lot more writing at De Smet than they did at their high schools. When we’re given writing assignments, such as essays, the writing comes a lot easier to me than most of my classmates. And in one of my science classes here, the teacher’s lectures were pretty confusing to me, so I referred to the notes I kept from my Chemistry classes with Dr. Behm at De Smet. Those notes really helped me.

Steve Aubuchon, Graduated DSJ Class of 2014, currently majoring in Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University

My Junior year service project was at a senior living center in Kirkwood. I helped the residents with issues they might be having with technology – their computers or tablets. I’m not necessarily a technology expert, but the experience made me aware of just how much I know and can share – a lot of which I learned at De Smet. But, by the last month I realized how I was really helping. While the facility is very nice, the majority of these were lonely. It reminded me of quote from Mother Theresa: ‘There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.’ So even if at times I wasn’t able to solve their computer issues, I knew I was making a positive difference.

Nick Hawkins, Senior

Sophomore year Theology I had Mr. Place. I was coming from a Catholic grade school, so I thought that Theology class would be Old Testament and News Testament… I figured ‘I know this’. But Mr. Place really challenged me. He made me think harder… ask why. It was hard for me at first, but then I started meeting with him after class, where we had some really awesome conversations. Over the summer going into junior year he challenged me to read a C.S. Lewis book. It was one of the hardest books I had to read, with all of the symbolism and allegories. He challenged me to go outside my comfort zone. From that I was able to not only expand my knowledge and my thinking processes, but I also earned a great mentor for my remaining years at De Smet.

Jacob Linomaz, Graduated DSJ Class of 2015, now attending St. Louis University

Freshman year I made the soccer team, and as a freshman I didn’t know what to expect as far as homework. With soccer practice I didn’t get home until after 6:00. It forced me to learn how much time it takes me to do homework assignments. You have to go through a checklist to properly manage your time. And that’s not just for sports – it applies to people in clubs and other school activities. It’s challenging at first, but once you gain the self-discipline you can manage your time for the things you’re committed to, like homework, sports and clubs, plus it gives you the confidence to join in on unscheduled stuff. I remember one day after school I went to the Emerson Lobby and they had four ping-pong tables set up for a tournament. I made time for that.

Collin Bryan, Junior

With each student having their own tablet computer at De Smet, it’s so nice that we can communicate with our teachers with email during and after school hours, and turn stuff in online. During classes, when you have in-class writing assignments, it’s so much harder to write things by hand. The tablets make life a lot easier at school. And I use technology in every class – not just here and there. I think the class where I used my tablet the most was in Mr. Sothers’ Junior-year History class. We wrote a lot of essays in his class, plus we’d all take notes in his class using our tablets. Having those notes handy, in one place, made preparing for tests so much easier than digging through your backpack for hand-written notes.

Nate Bira, Junior

Steve Aubuchon


Nick Hawkins









Jacob Linomaz