Lake Forest Alumni: Ofelia Carmichael & Carolina Carmichael Moll
November 27, 2018
Carolina Carmichael Moll and her sister Ofelia Carmichael graduated from LFHS in 2012 and 2011 respectively. They are the daughters of Rob Carmichael, who is the curator of the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest. Both sisters competed in diving, gymnastics, and track and field during their time at the high school, and also went on to study Sports Management at the University of Memphis after graduating.
However, although the Carmichael sisters have many things in common, their individual experiences at LFHS and the advice they have to give to current students is very unique!
*Responses have been edited for length and clarity.*
What was your favorite subject? What was your favorite elective?
“There wasn’t one subject that I loved or was my favorite, but my absolute favorite elective was Outdoor Ed and Outdoor Adventures! I seriously loved every unit we ever did, but three units I remember the most was rock climbing, kayaking in the pool, and how to cook really yummy dishes in the wild.” -Carolina
“Honestly, I don’t remember what my favorite subject was, unfortunately no classes stick out to me except for Outdoor Education and Outdoor Adventures. I will forever remember those classes.” -Ofelia
Who was your favorite high school teacher and why?
“Mr. Werner for Outdoor Education and Outdoor Adventures. It’s no secret that high school isn’t fun all the time and he had such a special gift for how he ran his classes. There were no groups or cliques, everyone was treated the exact same and everyone really got along so well. It didn’t matter what groups of friends you hung out with, it was such a unique situation where everyone was friends with everyone for that small period of time. He was so authentic and passionate and his classes were always a stress release for me. He never ran his classes to check off a box on a class curriculum, I could tell that he always went above and beyond the call of duty and took genuine interest in the well-being of all of his students.” -Ofelia
“Ms. Lyons, my English teacher. I made one of my best friends in this class and it was a class I always looked forward to going to. Ms. Lyons challenged me in the classroom and made learning fun! Also Señorita Wise, my Spanish teacher. We all called her Rita Wise and we always had a blast in her class. I thought there was no way I would ever pass Spanish class, but she did such an amazing job teaching the class and making it easy to understand.” -Carolina
If you could give one piece of advice to your high school self, what would you say?
“If I could myself one piece of advice to my high school self it would be to hang out with my friends more, to not sweat the small stuff, and to just live in the moment more. High school goes by so fast already, and I feel like I just constantly couldn’t wait to get out of Lake Forest and go to college.” -Carolina
“It’s okay to not have your life figured out! There is so much pressure to have what college, what degree, what career path all picked out and let me be the first to tell you it is okay to not have that figured out. I switched schools twice and switched my major three times. I went to a small school for a year and a semester and switched my major twice while there. When that still wasn’t working for me, I moved home and took a semester off of school to re- evaluate where I was mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. After a semester and a summer, I returned back to school!” -Ofelia
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
“I would tell my freshman self to always remain authentic. It’s so easy to try and look at the ‘popular’ kids and model yourself after them but they are miserable. They are so worried about looking like they have the perfect life that they lose/don’t know who they truly are. I would rather be deemed “uncool” and be so passionate about who I am and not care about what people think of me any day.” -Ofelia
“I would tell my freshman self to break out of my shell more! I was so shy; I can remember just sitting around the lunch table barely saying a word. It took awhile to find a group of friends that I could be more myself with and enjoy myself more.” -Carolina
How did your high school experiences influence your college and adult lives?
“I have always had a passion for sports and being so active in sports in high school and taking classes that were outdoor education related helped me pave a path for college and what I wanted to do after college.” -Carolina
“When I was in high school, I never really ‘fit’ into a certain clique. I just loved people. I love being around people and all different kinds of people. I think this really helped me in college and where I’m at now in my career because I can talk to pretty much anyone. I never wanted to change myself so that people would accept me. I saw a lot of people do that in high school and I wanted no part of that. The quote ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken’ is something that I learned first-hand in high school. Be authentic. Be weird. Be quirky. Be yourself and don’t apologize for it.” -Ofelia
What is something exciting that you’ve done/accomplished recently?
“I got married this past year!!!” -Carolina
“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue a career that I am extremely passionate about! It was a perfect example of thinking I had this perfect plan in place, and God crumbling all of that and showing me his greater plan for me. It meant lots of ups and downs and heartbreaks and times of thinking that I had no idea what the heck I was doing with my life…especially the last 6 months. It’s been an absolute roller coaster. But now I’m in a position to work with high school athletes as a coach, and to be able to mentor them through sport. I’m able to personally train people and instill confidence in themselves that can carry into every part of their lives.” -Ofelia
What is a goal that you have for your future?
“I am training for the 2020 Olympics! I qualified to the 2016 Olympic trials and I’ve been training hard for two years now, and already there’s less than two years till 2020 Olympic trials!” -Carolina
“To live a life I am completely in love with! I don’t know what that will exactly look like but my priorities are having free time for myself, being a positive influence in the lives of others, and being able to save some money to start traveling to different places around the world. I have such a desire to see and experience new places.” -Ofelia