My Last Words Before Turning Into A Vampire

I cannot think of a solitary moment in life that is more optimistic than when you are listening to a high school valedictorian speech. These kids are sitting there, staring at a blank page. They have not yet been faced with life-altering decisions. Their hearts are still vaguely in one piece. They haven’t made a series of poor choices that has left them divorced, in debt, and jaded for all eternity. They aren’t quite sure what the Freshman 15 even is. They barely understand the concepts of financial responsibility and what it’s like to work a 9-5 job that makes you want to wish you were never born, just because you have no other option. Their dreams have not yet had a chance to breathe, much less die.

I get all teary every time.

I could listen to valedictorian speeches all day. Oh wait, I have been. A local TV station has been replaying all of the public school graduation videos from this past spring. For me, it’s a little slice of heaven. For everyone else, it is a rare and peculiar form of self-inflicted torture.

I am in love with school. And not just because I have an absurd obsession with the smell of school supplies. I love the feeling of that first day. A new start. Endless possibilities. Football games. Catching up with old friends, making new ones. That sickening feeling when you walk past the one person you will never have the guts to talk to. Add the fact that school starts in the fall and you have what might be a perfect storm of awesomeness.

I wish I could make a career out of attending school.

But Brit, didn’t you quit college?

I’m sorry, what?

Of course, high school is also vicious. Girls really are mean. Teenagers are unforgiving and selfish. And in the process of everyone trying to find themselves, we all have a tendency to lose a little bit of dignity. But even though I had my fair share of tearful nights and end of the world moments, when I think back on those days, they were incredible. There’s nothing like it. And never will be again.

Easy solution? Become a vampire and stay 17 forever.

What I’m going to do in the meantime? Make a sack lunch and watch Clueless.


Stay tuned. My next blog will feature pics and stories from my epic weekend in the Windy City with Lola Lakely and Uncorked!!!

37 thoughts on “My Last Words Before Turning Into A Vampire

  1. I would have watched those speeches all day with you! I would add to your list of things they don’t yet understand the following: 1) their first real pregnancy scare, 2) their first STD tests, 3) their first drunken one night stand, 4) writing a resume, and 5) their first walk of shame.

    LOVE Clueless. I think I’ll watch it now. And maybe follow it up with Mean Girls. Can’t wait for your next post for fairly obvious reasons.

  2. High was school WAS pretty awesome, but the Catch 22 is that we were too angst-ridden to realize it at the time, and now that we know what REAL angst is, it’s too late.

    Good lord. I need a drink.

  3. Yup, I agree…there IS something wonderful about listening to a high school valedictorian speech. It’s the optimism for sure. I was never a school lover myself, except my absurd obsession with the smell of school supplies – I swear! Mostly, I enjoyed the smelled of pencil erasers. And my Senior year was without a doubt my most favorite year in HS. It was the year that I seemed to blossom.

    And hey, listen….I AM a vampire. It’s GREAT!

  4. OMG, if you figure out how to become a vampire and be eternally 17, PLEASE let me know…I am SOOOOOO down with that! Unless I have to be all sparkly like that disheveled albino in those teeny bopper vampire movies. Cuz, I don’t like glitter. Other than that, I’m in!

  5. Obviously, you know I get you. Of anyone in the strange land of BCS nostalgia I understand.Gosh if I think hard enough about the whole thing I can even smell the musty smell of the big hallway going into the gymn or the library/study hall. School supplies smell wonderful and the smell of pencils just makes me nervous…maybe its because I think of math.

  6. If I was wealthy beyond belief, I’d be a professional college student. I would learn everything I could and then learn some more. I’d hang out with other smart people and we’d be sooo cool because we’re smarter than everyone else. Since I’m poor, I am confronted daily with the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

  7. Ahh, those were indeed the days. If only we had realized it then.

    I had an English teacher who often told me that high school days were the best days of our lives, and we needed to realize it. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to him, and instead, spent way too much time worrying about the stupid stuff, instead of just being.

  8. I also love school (and the smell of school supplies – especially notebooks/paper), and often find myself reminiscing about high school. I graduated the day before you did, so maybe it’s something about the whole 10-year mark that makes it seem so wonderful in hindsight. 🙂

  9. I’m TOTALLY making a career out of being in school! It’s possible… and I sure hope to be cheery about it when I’m up all night reading an impossible book that no one has ever deciphered and it’s somehow my job to do so.

    Oh, and a few years ago my little sister’s high school grad valedictorian said the following: This is obviously perhaps one of the most important days of our lives…


  10. Now take each of those people in the picture and do a “where are they now” segment.

    I think there is a clearing house of valedictorian cliches b/c they all say the same thing.

  11. HOLY SHIT. I was just thinking the SAME thing in the car this morning when that song, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” came on my iPod. I literally teared up listening to that dude talk. I was all like, “YOU’RE SO RIGHT.” I probably looked like a huge douche.

    When I was in Target this weekend, I was sad I couldn’t buy new school supplies or a new first day of school outfit. I don’t have a first day of school to look forward to or seeing a boy who I didn’t see all summer and who didn’t know that I was no longer wearing a training bra. Real life sucks.

    If you turn into a vampire, can you convert me? We can be seniors fo’ eva. Also, I only want to be a sparkly vampire.

  12. I made it thru high school as one of the cool kids and I wouldn’t go back for anything. Well, maybe if all I had to do was roam the halls, chill by the lockers, eat that great caf pizza, and stare at the cheerleaders and volleyball players, I would “consider” returning. But I don’t think I could avoid homework, sitting three on a seat on the school bus, and being broke. 😀

  13. Oh yes! I have felt this way so many times!! I envy the mother in Freaky Friday (dumb movie though) How great it would be to go back to high school knowing what I know now and letting all my troubles simply not exist. I think about what I would say to those ‘mean girls’ and the confidence I would have had talking to “that” guy! alas…I don’t think i will be switching bodies with any angst ridden teenagers in the near future….

  14. I watch Heathers religiously to remind me why I hated friggin school. OK, sure i still love the smell of school supplies and pencil cases but I can go sniff at Walmart for reminiscing purposes.

  15. …did a package of Lunchables make the sack-lunch roster? That bologna was really real…

    You would have O’ed at my high school graduation—a tie for valedictorian = 2 speeches! I delivered none of them…

  16. I found high school to be rather painful and prefer to leave it in the past. Graduation speeches do make the heart flutter. All that expectation is such an exciting thing. Well, that is until you realize that actually finding a job out of college that spells career is a downright scary proposition. What it is to be young and naive.

  17. I dunno listening to high school speeches is a little depressing for me. All that opportunity, all those high hopes.. I suppose it should make me happy but I guess I’m just a bit of a negative person these days. That, I’m trying to change though.

  18. Brit, my dear, happy Friday. I’m sorry for not commenting sooner. I was on vacation.

    I remember our high school Valedictorian walked up to the microphone, pulled out a $9 instant camera, snapped a picture of the crowd and said, “Wow, cool, I’ve always wanted to do that.” LOL. He had a good speech too. I would have watched those with you too.

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