The Carroll Times

The Student News Site of Archbishop John Carroll High School

The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Senior goodbye: Joy Waldmann


Dear Archbishop Carroll, 

I will never be able to thank you enough for the friendships you have brought me. To walk away from a place four years later, but with 20 girls who have changed my life, is something I never expected as a 14-year-old girl. Walking into the high school environment can be very intimidating, especially when a global pandemic forces you apart from half of your classmates. Mental health declines and self-confidence disappears in these circumstances. I often wondered if Carroll was a place where I could be truly happy. I often thought about transferring and was very close to withdrawing from the school. I assumed all there was to come was more anxiety, judgment, and doubts. I could not imagine the possibility of turning this around, let alone completely changing my view of the grade I was a part of. 

In my sophomore year, I met a few girls who are now my closest friends. Throughout the next year, I was in a friend group with them. Sitting down at a lunch table as an anxiety-filled underclassman preparing myself to speak to 5 girls seemed like the worst thing ever at the time. Luckily, I warmed up to them as the sophomore year carried on, and in doing this, gained 13 best friends. My junior year became a highlight of my high school experience. I, once having extreme social anxiety, allowed for myself to show my personality to anyone I talked to. This is what changed my experience as a whole. As much as I would like to take credit for the change I made, it truly was not my doing, it was the 13 girls who did not even realize they were encouraging me to do so. Moving into senior year, this number 13 increased to 19. 

Senior year for me was a blessing I am not ready to let go of. Beginning in late June, I went on Kairos. Always looking forward to Kairos, I never would have imagined the connections I made with not only those I had not talked to but the depth it formed with those I thought I knew everything about. I was even blessed to lead the rest of the 19 who had not already attended the retreat. The bonds I have with these girls became even stronger. As the year continued, we have made the very most of our time, and I truly believe that. While it has gone by way too fast for me to fully commiserate with, every second was a complete blessing. I had been thrilled to walk out of the doors of the school only worrying about receiving my diploma; however, 19 girls have made that thought sicken me. I wish I could have told myself as an underclassman that my idea of school-induced tears would have been changed completely on June 5, 2024. So, Archbishop Carroll, thank you. I wish I could stay just a little while longer. 

Gratefully, Joy Waldmann 

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