Senior goodbye: Ally Frederick

Ally Frederick

Dear Carroll,

As I’m writing this, it’s 23 days until graduation. With this big step of our lives fast-approaching, most seniors are overwhelmed with every emotion: bittersweet nostalgia, pride, and anticipation for the future. Even though I knew this day would eventually come, it still feels unbelievable to be writing a goodbye letter. Although the adjustments due to the pandemic made some sophomore and junior year challenging, the past four years flew by, and it is so surreal to say that I am graduating.

As I reflect on my past four years at Carroll, I am filled with joy and excitement. My high school experience has truly been a time of personal growth, and I am proud of the individual I have become. I would not be the person I am today without the friendships, love and support from within this school. I have made tons of memories here and I am very grateful for everything.

I entered high school a little anxious of what was to come. I chose to follow in my brother’s footsteps after watching them make lifelong friends and longtime memories. That being said, I only knew Carroll through them. I would go to endless amounts of football games, soccer games, baseball games, etc. Their experiences were much different than mine, Carroll has changed a lot throughout the years. But entering high school, I realized it was just the start of my journey in exploring my interests. It was always hard for me to feel like I fit in with the people around me. Most of the time I feel like the odd man out because sometimes coming out of your shell can be very intimidating. If you’re an incoming freshman or just an underclassman, I know you’ve probably been told to get involved. I am telling you to listen. Getting involved may seem intimidating but you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. The community will always have your back. High school is a place to make memories. Try out for the play and for sports even if you’ve never played before. Go to after school activities. There are so many opportunities at Carroll for everyone. Get involved and make those lifelong friends and memories, you won’t regret it.

I won’t lie. The last four years haven’t been easy. Freshman year was an emotional roller coaster. I felt unnoticed and I was unable to step out of my comfort zone. My parents would always tell me to push through because unlike me, they knew I could do it no matter how many times I asked them to transfer me to another school. Sophomore year was easier. I started to open up more after the summer but I still didn’t feel like I was getting the experience I wanted. That year ended in March and we were only given assignments that made high school seem so easy. That led junior year feeling like a fever dream when September finally rolled around. Being hybrid my junior year of high school was almost like a punishment. It was a major challenge to keep up with school work while trying to keep in touch with the other half of your classmates that you haven’t seen since last year. Senior year, I finally took a leap of faith. I stepped out of my shell and made my lifelong friends that I will never forget. Thanks to Father Cavara, I had the opportunity to go on a Kairos retreat in October, which led me to lead another in February. Although Kairos is not for everyone, I strongly encourage those who are able to, go and see for yourselves what it is like.

To me, goodbye is such an ironic word because there is nothing good about saying bye. How am I supposed to say goodbye? How am I supposed to just walk away and move on? How am I supposed to tell my teachers who have loved me, taught me, and shaped me into the person I am today, goodbye? The answer is, it’s not. goodbye. But I’ve come to realize and comfort myself with the fact that I won’t be leaving anyone because the impact that every person from Carroll has left on my life will always be a part of me.

To my lifelong friends that Carroll has given me, as sappy as it sounds, I could not be more lucky to have such amazing people by my side. Thank you for always being there for me when I needed it most. You not only made me laugh and smile every day, but continuously motivated me to push through all of the things thrown in my way.

To my family, I most definitely would not be here without you. Your unconditional love and support has gotten me through all the obstacles of high school.

High school is full of memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Senior year is time to reflect on how the last four years have impacted our lives. It’s an opportunity to thank those who have shaped us into the people we are today and who we will continue to be when we cross the stage. We thank our families, friends, coaches, teachers, and other loved ones. It’s time to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be. Thank you, Carroll, for providing me with amazing lifelong friendships with students and teachers that I will never forget.

With love,
Ally Frederick