Jonathan Mai

Class of 2021 senior goodbye


Out of all the schools I could have chosen, I picked Archbishop Carroll High School. I only really had a few options. Upper Merion High School, Pope John Paul II High School and Archbishop Carroll High School were the options that most interested me. Each had an outstanding quality that I thought was favorable to me. I’m not totally sure what exactly made me pick Carroll over the others and at this point, I don’t really wish to know. Carroll has had such an impactful influence on my life that it doesn’t really matter why I chose it. 

In my first years of high school, I remember feeling excited to learn about the school but also all the anxiety I felt trying to make friends. In elementary school, I basically grew up and stuck with a single class for several years. From first grade to eighth grade, all of my classmates were the same with very little variation from year to year. I never really dealt with making new friends so going into a school where I knew very little and knew even less people was not very easy. For the first few days, I sat by myself at lunch, mainly minding my own business. I sat at the table next to the popular table. Eventually they asked me to sit with them and I started to become friends with some. 

A few years later I joined the Kairos retreat. I initially wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate because COVID-19 was still very prevalent and it wouldn’t be the full Kairos experience. Instead of going to the Malvern Retreat House, we did it at school. When I first heard that we weren’t doing it at the retreat house, I expected it to be less fun and less spiritually active and it kind of was. Even so, I still got a spiritual boost and felt my time at Kairos was definitely worth it. 

Throughout my four years in Carroll, I’ve noticed I have changed a bit. In situations where I normally would not talk or say anything, I find myself blurting out some kind of remark. I feel as though I’ve gained some confidence in myself — not enough to make a huge difference but one in which I will at least try to make friends. Carroll gave me a community where I can see viewpoints of others and meet people who are very open to people. I am very glad I picked Carroll in the end.