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May 16, 2003

by Meghann on May 16, 2013

Ten years ago today I accomplished a pretty important milestone… I graduated high school.

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Part of me feels like it was yesterday, the other part feels like that was a lifetime ago. So much has changed since then. I’ve changed. My friends have changed. The world has changed.

When I think about everything that’s happened between then and now, my head spins. I mean, just looking back at my crummy non-digital photos is proof enough of that. Check out that awesome disposable quality.  

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p.s. check out Baby Ben in that photo! He was THIRTEEN when I graduated high school! I was even taller than him back then – I swear he grew like 10 inches my freshmen year of college.

High school was just okay to me. My sister and I always joked that who ever said high school was the best time of their life never went to college. College was so much more fun. I think I was just lost in high school. I transferred schools my sophomore year and sort of latched to a group of friends that I really never fit in with. I was very quiet back then and not as outgoing as I am now. I didn’t break out of my shell until college, in high school I was all about blending in.

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I only applied to two colleges my senior year: FSU and UCF. Not a lot of people go out of state for school in Florida because it’s so cheap to stay in state. Thanks to Bright Futures and various other scholarships, I could attend any state school in Florida for next to nothing. I received acceptance letters to both schools and ended up at FSU – my #1 choice. My twin brother was accepted into his #1 choice – UF. The FSU/UF rivalry is something that dated back to when we were kids. I was always a fan of FSU and he was always a fan of UF. We were twins divided. πŸ™‚

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We took our AP exams two or three weeks before the end of the year and ended up skating through the rest of classes until graduation (there were a lot of movies and “field trips” to the beach). Our school had a tradition where they do a big senior send off the day before. We had senior breakfast and a final assembly before the principal officially released the class of 2003 for the last time. I even remember him stating “We’ll see you in 2013, Class of 2003.” After we were released, we ran a circle around the school, banging lockers, doors, and walls along the way. A few parents came to see the send off and my mom surprised us in the hallway.

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Graduation took place at the local community college’s gym. It was crowded, hot, and boring – what graduation isn’t? Since then they’ve moved graduation to the football field where there are more seats and room to breathe. The football field the Class of 2013’s ceremony will take place on in a couple of weeks didn’t even exist when I was there.

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I teared up a little when I found the above photo of Amber and I. Amber lost her battle with cervical cancer last year (see more here). She looks so happy there. That’s how I’ll always remember her, happy.

After graduation my family went out for pizza, then my brother and I headed to “Project Graduation.”

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Project Graduation was a huge post-graduation party the parents planned for the graduates. Their goal was to give the graduating class one last night together before sending them off in the real world. It was actually a pretty cool event filled with great raffle prizes, amazing decorations, fun games, a casino, lots of food, and friends. I’d say about 80% of the graduating class were in attendance.

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I wonder if the school still does it? Back then it was a pretty big deal. Most of us had been looking forward to attending since freshmen year. My dad was on the parent committee and even helped my uncle turn the school staircase into a waterfall. My only regret is the lack of photos I have of the night. The ones I do have are pretty crummy – I’ll never take my digital camera for granted again.

One of the big discussions we had at Project Graduation was where we would all be in ten years. Did I guess I would be married, living in Tampa, about to start training for my first Ironman, working in the race industry, and writing a blog? Heck, no. I didn’t even know what an Ironman was.. or a blog for that matter. I also had no sense of timing back then. I think I said I would be married, pregnant with my second kid (ha!), and some big wig television producer. Twenty-eight sounded so old. Surely I would be a “real” adult then.

I think the older we get, the younger ages seem. Now 18 feels like a baby – a baby! – and 28 is still young. I know I feel young. I don’t feel like someone who’s old enough to have graduated from high school ten years ago (ahh.. I just sounded like my mom there!).

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Our high school reunion is planned and set for June 2nd. I can’t wait. I’ve already bought my ticket and everything. There’s a Class of 03 group on Facebook and it’s fun to reconnect with so many classmates I’ve just plain forgot about. I’m not the only one who has changed – we all have. So many of them have kids or have moved so far away. We’re adults. So weird.

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Okay. Most of us are still kids at heart. πŸ˜‰

Happy Ten Years, Class of 2003!

Other high school related posts:


{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura May 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

Happy ten year anniversary! Gosh, I graduated in 2003 and hadn’t even realized it had been ten years till you posted this. It’s neat to think back, though I agree with you that I loved college more than high school. And honestly, I love post-college best! I like the freedom to be able to go any direction and see where the road takes us. (Ugh that sounds SO corny but you know what I mean.)

Curious to hear how your reunion goes! My class hasn’t put a date on the calendar for ours yet, but I feel like it’s going to be a bit anti-climactic, since everyone is on Facebook so we can get updates if we want to.
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2 Meghan @ After the Ivy League May 16, 2013 at 7:53 am

Such adorable memories. I graduated from HS 8 years ago and it boggles my mind how much has happened since then too, and how much I’ve changed. Do I spy a cheerleading uniform in one of those pictures? I was a HS cheerleader too! haha. And that’s so sad about your friend Amber πŸ™ Breaks my heart, but it is wonderful to remember her happy and always smiling.
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3 MealsAndMiles May 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

Yes, I cheered in high school. Go War Eagles!

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4 Courtney May 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

I’ve been out of high school for six years, and it seems like an eternity ago. Like you, college trumped high school big time for me. What a fun look down memory lane for you! Enjoy your reunion πŸ™‚
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5 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats May 16, 2013 at 8:34 am

I graduated in 04 and I can’t believe it will be 10 years next year. I had fun in high school and met some of my best friends but have no desire to go to the reunion. The people I keep in contact with are the only ones I’m concerned with seeing anyway so I will skip the big to-do.
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6 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

My sister graduated high school 10 years ago as well and I graduated 8 years ago. It’s crazy how much things have changed, yet also stayed the same. My graduation was out on the football field and a storm started rolling in as they started reading everyone’s names. They started reading them off slowly and by the end they were hardly finishing the last name before starting the next as it was starting to drizzle on us. By the last Z last name, the sky broke into a downpour and we all threw our caps in the air and made a run for it. Memorable for sure!
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7 Natalie @ Free Range Human May 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

What a fun look book! I was actually just thinking about my high school graduation. My 11th anniversary is tomorrow, and it is crazy to think about how much has changed!
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8 Megan May 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

It’s my ten year anniversary, too! June 13, 2003 – our ten year reunion is in October though. Still debating if I’m actually going – loved your high school post though, what a great idea! If I can dig up photos, maybe I’ll share some too. πŸ˜‰ Happy 10 years to us!
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9 Melissa @TryingtoHeal May 16, 2013 at 9:41 am

Haha, I just got a notice via facebook about my ten year reunion to come up some time this year…it made me feel so old! I feel like high school was a lifetime ago! Unlike you I LOVED High School and really didn’t fit in/enjoy college. I hope you have fun at your reunion!
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10 Tara May 16, 2013 at 9:59 am

I still have a long way to go before my high school reunion (6 more years), but it’s really cool to see how much you’ve grown up! I feel I still look exactly the same since HS, but I’m sure people that haven’t seen me for four years think I look older.
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11 Emily May 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

Cute post!! I totally agree with the statement that “who ever said high school was the best never went to college!” So true. And you’re right, 28 seemed so old back in high school.

I can’t wait to hear how the reunion goes! I still have a few more years until mine, but my husbands is next year and I can’t wait to go to one πŸ™‚
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12 Ali May 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

It hasn’t quite been 10 years since I graduated high school, but this year I’m graduating with a doctorate. THAT is crazy for me to think about.

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13 elisabeth May 16, 2013 at 11:10 am

I can’t believe its been 13 years for me! I graduated June 6, 2000 and sometimes it feels like yesterday…and other times it seems like a lifetime ago. I definitely think college is the time of your life vs high school – I’d love to do college over, but could care less about high school. I didn’t even go to my reunion πŸ˜‰

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14 Rachel May 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

I remember their Afro wigs! Lol I have some pics with them next to me.

Idk if project grad still happens, but I’m very sad about gradnite ending πŸ™ that was my favorite senior memory. I’m kind of jealous of teens today. They have FB timelines and nice phone cameras to easily capture it all! I only have a few pics and those arent easy to dig up!

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15 Annette @FitnessPerks May 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I graduated in 2003 too! Crazy how time flies, for sure!
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16 joelle (on a pink typewriter) May 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Ah! 10 years.. crazy. I graduated high school 9 years ago… so weird to think about, and I have my 5 year college reunion this fall!
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17 Margaret May 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I have my 10-year reunion this summer too! I need to get around to sending in that registration form…

You do realize the main purpose of the Project Graduation party is to keep the kids occupied so they don’t celebrate by getting drunk, right?
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18 MealsAndMiles May 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Yep. We knew that.

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19 Samantha Angela May 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

May seems so early to have a high school graduation. My 10 year graduation anniversary will be at the end of June.
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20 Jamie at Sometimes Healthy Living Blog May 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Love reading about memories from high school. I was in your shoes two years ago when I went to my high school reunion. I really enjoyed having the blog as an outlet to talk about my excitement and apprehension about the reunion. It’s great to know that in 10 more years, I can read my post about the high school reunion and smile πŸ™‚ I had such a great time and I’m sure you will too.
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21 Katie @ Baking and Swimming May 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I graduate high school this Saturday! can’t even think that far ahead to a 10 year anniversary!!!
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22 Amanda @ Peanut Butter & Adrenaline May 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

10 years! That’s incredibly awesome. I love looking back on high school and who I was then because I am so different! I have another five years to go before the 10-year, and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be.

P.S. Totally agree that college is far, far better than high school. πŸ˜‰
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23 Allison May 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Great post! Really takes me back. I went to my project graduation and won 200.00! I felt so rich!

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24 Erin May 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm

At least you don’t have to pretend you invented post-its πŸ™‚

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25 Hyedi May 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm

It’s my ten year this year too! Still haven’t decided if I’m attending the reunion or not — but it’s AMAZING how time flies. Loved this post — super fun πŸ™‚

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26 Karen May 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Great pictures! We had something similar to project graduation and it was a lot of fun! :0) I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, so young…breaks my heart. I’m with you, I’m still a kid at heart and always will be! :0)
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27 Jordan May 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Happy 10 year graduation anniversary! Love that pic of us at project graduation, we look so young! I teared up a little at that picture of Amber too. I’ll see ya June 1!

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28 BroccoliHut May 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

This was so much fun to read, Meghann!
Seth is the same age as you, so we’ve been talking about whether “this” is where he thought he’d be when he graduated from high school.

Oh, the places life takes us!

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29 Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

What a great post to read! Happy 10 years πŸ™‚
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30 Molly @ RDexposed May 17, 2013 at 8:16 am

You are so brave for displaying these old photos. Not sure if I would reveal all of mine!

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31 ct cupcake May 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm

wow, y’all graduate early in Florida. Does school start late?
I graduated towards the end of June and we started high school right before Labor Day, though we do have some snow days in CT. I can’t say I remember nearly as much specifics about high school graduate, though I do recall I wore some hideous sandals.
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32 Mallory May 18, 2013 at 7:59 am

Cute post. Also, I don’t know anyone who says “high school is the best time of your life” .. I always heard “College is the best time of your life.” BUT, for me, high school really was (I am a freak!) I wasn’t a popular girl, but I just had a ton of fun and the best friends. In fact I am still closer to my high school friends than I am my college friends and I graduated 6 years ago!

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33 Amanda @runtothefinish May 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

AWW what a cute look back!!! I graduated college in 2003… i hope we do a reunion soon i could really use one!
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34 Emily N May 19, 2013 at 11:03 am

Wow! Happy 10 years! This makes you the same class as my little sister.
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35 The Many Thoughts of a Reader May 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

This year is year 11 for me. I did not go to my reunion. No desire at all.
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36 Caitlin May 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm

love seeing the old photos πŸ™‚
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