Ten years ago this weekend, I donned a cap and gown, walked across the stage, and graduated from high school. Graduation was held in the school gym, and then my parents threw me a big party after at our house. I still remember it like it was yesterday, but it also seems so far away.
Wow. Time truly does fly. Being such a sentimental person, this is so bittersweet for me. There are things about high school I miss SO MUCH (not much responsibility, sports, hanging out with friends non stop, etc.) But there are things I wouldn’t go back to for anything (drama, curfews, wanting to do my own thing). I flipped through my senior memories book yesterday, and it was a fun trip down memory lane. Senior year was a blast in a lot of ways, especially at the end when everyone is SO excited for the future. We had our senior trip, counting down the days to graduation, and looking forward to going to college and being “adults” with “freedom”. Oh boy.
mom decorated my car the last day of school
We thought we were so big and bad, taking on the world, leaving childhood behind. A lot of people say they wish they knew the future, but I for one am glad I didn’t know everything the next ten years would hold. I think I would have been scared out of my mind! There is definitely a reason God doesn’t reveal the whole picture to us in the beginning, most of us would run away screaming.
I am no longer the wide eyed 17 year old who thought high school, the “worst” part of my life was over. Sometimes I wish I could go back and do it again knowing what I know now. I would tell myself to not take everything so seriously, and that even though it seems like it, the “big things” I thought were a huge deal would be very small in the grand scheme of things, so let it go. I made a lot of mistakes, and then made the same ones again. I laughed, I loved, I cried. I got home sick, I enjoyed my freedom, and I grew up.
My picture table at graduation
I look back at my senior memory book where I filled in blanks such as “plans after college”. I wrote down law school. This makes me laugh. I am married to an attorney. I thought I would graduate college, get married, go to more school, and my plan was to have my first baby at 25. I laugh some more. I DID get married right out of college, but I am nearly 28 with no kids in sight, and no advanced degree. I am totally ok with this.
mom and I right before graduation
There is SO much I didn’t know then, and even more I feel I don’t know now. But one thing I can say as I look back over the past ten years is that God was with me the whole time. There have been many days when I felt alone, and that things were never going to get better. Days when I thought my little world was over, and I couldn’t possibly face another day. Even though I had to drag myself through some days, weeks, months, and even years, I have never done it alone. It is my prayer as I look ahead to the next ten years, that I will use my past experiences to help myself and others get through the next hard time. I hope to remember God’s faithfulness and grace as I navigate life.
My page from the graduation program. “Be enthusiastic in your work, and think with your heart.”
I hope I never lose sight of that goofy 17 year old girl with the world in front of her with so many plans and dreams in her heart. She may have been naïve, but on that night she took home a brand new diploma she was right about something. There is so much yet to be discovered and learned, and with my family and God by my side, I don’t have to go through it alone.
Cheers to the class of 2003.
QOTD: What are your thoughts on your high school self vs. now? When did you graduate?
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake says
Love this post! I’m one year behind you, so next year will mark 10 years for me. However, I teach in the high school that I graduated from, so I don’t feel too far removed!
Awww! It’s weird looking back..it feels like high school was such a distant thing, but yet at the time it so big! I enjoyed it at the time but I don’t think I’d want to go back any time soon
Karen :0) says
Awww…now you have me all sentimental. I loved senior year – it was one of the best years ever! Great post! :0)
1) Your mom does NOT age! She looks the exact same she did 10 years ago — you have awesome genes!
2) Did the curfew part really bother you? I know you’re lame like me and can’t ever stay up late haha.
3) Awesome post! I always wish I could go back to being a kid knowing what I know now. I would not have taken life so seriously as a teenager! We girls are sooo dramatic!
At this point I can’t believe it has been 10 years. I graduated June 6 2003, so I have 2 weeks until I hit that mark. I didn’t know what to expect and I still don’t, though sometimes I wish I could go back and tell my high school self independence isn’t all it’s made up to be.
Jodi @ 13.1 Miles to Disney says
This weekend is also my 10 years since I graduated high school. It seems like it was so long ago but at the same time I can’t believe I’m already 28 years old.
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl says
Girl you haven’t changed a bit..except for your hair length! Beautiful!!! I graduated high school in 1997 and college in 2001. Yeah…I feel old now lol!
Irene @ Will Write 4 Travel says
Heather, thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photos! To be quite honest, I don’t really think about high school ever. I graduated in 1998 and so much has happened since then (undergrad, marriage, MBA, moving across the country) that looking back isn’t really something I do, but perhaps I should!
It’s fun to remember!
I graduated in 2003 also – 10 years in about three weeks and I have a similar post pending, so long as I can find enough photos to make it worthwhile. 😉 Aaaah, high school.
Part of me thinks I set out to do exactly what I wanted and part of me thinks I’ve thrown myself my own curveball. It’s been fun, to say the least!
Kristin @ A Mom on the Run says
Your cheers to the Class of 2003 at the end of your post just made me realize that I graduated from college ten years ago — yikes!!
Linz @ Itz Linz says
my 10 year reunion is this year too – WEIRD!!!!!
I graduated High School in 1999 / College almost 10 yrs ago –
I am much more confident in myself now days and not sure if that would be something I would want to place into my younger self or not. I think being a little quieter and more reserved, saved me from getting into trouble in my younger years.
On one hand it feels like high school/college was light years away, and yet, I mentally feel like my young self. Or possibly, it is that I don’t realize that I am still ‘young’ *32*
32 is young!
Kim @ Confessions of a Domestic Goddess says
Senior year, one of my teachers had us write letter to ourselves and ten years later he would mail them to us. I still have a couple years of waiting still, but I’m curious to know what my high school self wrote to my current day self. I’m sure things are way different than I thought, but I wouldn’t trade any of it.
what a fun idea!
Frank@The Fat Runner says
First off, thanks for making me feel old. LOL (I graduated in 1994)
Actually I feel the same way as Jen above: I wished I had not taken life so seriously back then. Even as a teen, I was so “grown up”.
I was too. I was like a young old person.
Kierston @candyfit says
I just had this convo with a friend recently! It will mark 10 years for me too in June that I graduated h.s.! I
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
OMG how weird is it to say that!!!!!!!! Ten years ago. Oh wow. So much has happened in 10 years!
I know. I feel old.
Bryanna Gondeiro says
I couldn’t agree more!! I wish I could change so much about high school and miss seeing all of my great friends!! We had such a blast. And it’s so true that God doesn’t reveal it all to us. Might not be where I am now if He had. Everyday I am learning to trust him more and more, and He has always remained faithful. I graduated only 5 years ago, and it feels like forever ago!! It’s amazing how time flies!!
It goes so fast!
i also graduated in 2003. i can’t believes it has been almost 10 years (in new jersey school doesn’t end until the week after father’s day).
Jan @ Sprouts n Squats says
I so wanted a VW beetle growing up what a great car!
I think I thought I’d feel a lot more grown up at 30 than what I actually feel. I worry a lot less than what I used to and realize things that I thought were important when I was younger just really aren’t as important as I thought.
Great post 🙂
Great post! I graduated in 2008, and since then have gone to university, become a Registered Nurse, got my dream job in the NICU, and I got engaged ! 5 years doesn’t sound like very long, but boy have things changed!
You are so right that it would be neat to go back and redo parts of high school with the knowledge we have now!
things can change so fast!
Love this post, the photos were great.