Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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A Telling Of The Time

I auditioned to speak at my high school graduation but didn’t get chosen. I just found the would-have-been speech in an old email folder. Enjoy this classic from 2005:

It’s funny how quickly the last week of high school passes. I felt like I was given only a matter of minutes to say my goodbyes. “You have forty-five seconds to say good-bye… and… go.”

Goodbyes are too painful, though. I don’t want to do this! Not now. Not yet. I thought that I was ready for high school to be over. Four years; you would think that would be enough to satisfy anyone. And it was.

But high school is not the end! If we think about it, it wasn’t even the beginning. High school is somewhere in the middle- somewhere between start and finish. In four years, we endured the burning fire, the piercing ice, the snow day that was and the one that really wasn’t, and an astro-turf field.

We witnessed a united nation under an unresolved attack, a divided nation during a war. We sympathized after a natural disaster beyond any comparisons. We saw one president with two terms and two principals, one with a legacy that took a strong six years to create, another that took an equally as impressive one.

In our teenage years we took part in our own legacies, fueling the rise of the mp3 and hip-hop culture, being introduced to The OC and Desperate Housewives, and saying goodbye to Friends. Nemo was found, The Matrix was resolved, and Darth Vader was just beginning.

The greatest and only pope of our time passed on, leaving behind his accomplishments from nearly a quarter-of-a-century. Baseball fans were shocked with the Red Sox’s World Series win, celebrity watchers with Brad and Jen’s breakup, and practically everyone with Britney Spears’ two marriages and baby announcement.

Paris Hilton became an American icon overnight and suddenly everything could be referred to as “hot.” Napoleon Dynamite showed us that you should never be afraid to dance. And who knows? If Paris and Napoleon were able to influence us, we may one day vote the “Governator” as President!

It was only three years ago that N’Sync was still hitting the top fifty charts and Justin Timberlake went solo, our first American Idol made her mark with “A Moment Like This”, and Avril Lavigne made everything so “Complicated.”

No doubt about it, high school has been tiring and stressful, eventful and historical. Yet, when we look back on it, high school was more than just hanging out with friends, joining school clubs, and creating a personality so we could be accepted to colleges. We might not realize it today or tomorrow or the next, but eventually we will see that these years were about building relationships, making mistakes, and learning who we are, not in our friends, peers, and parents’ eyes, but in our own.

Me, hanging out on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado in spring 2005.

Filed under: Colorado, Entertainment, News, , , ,

One Response

  1. Mom says:

    Spectacular writing! And I L.O.V.E. how the picture captures your words so perfectly.

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