Hey everybody, so, it’s been 5 years since I graduated, so this is a tribute to my senior class and the 5 years that have gone by. It’s only been 5 years. But really, 5 years feels like a long time…

Five years ago, I was 18 and still (just barely) a senior in high school. I still lived with my parents. Most of my favorite TV shows were still on the air. I was a bit more into pop and hip-hop music (Glamorous or Ride Wit Me anyone?). For the most part I had a different group of friends than I have now. I was going to go to college in Buffalo to become a CPA. I had a boyfriend. I had a job at a local hardware store. I spent most nights with my boyfriend.  I stayed out til 1am. I went to Denny’s and Arnold park with Tyler & Kate at midnight. Prom was a recent memory and graduation was the immediate future.

Today, I’m 23 and both a high school and college graduate. I’m a homeowner. Most of my favorite TV shows have ended. I prefer alternative music most days. I have a mostly different group of friends. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from SUNY Oneonta. The boy I was dating is my husband. I spend every night with him. I hardly ever stay up til 1am. Instead of Denny’s and Arnold Park, it’s grilling and walking up to the top of our property and it’s usually with Tyler, Chris, Mel, and Monica. Prom and graduation are distant, yet still very poignant, memories. The more immediate future revolves around jobs, housework, and eventually kids.

For those who have graduated 10, 15, 20, or 25 years ago, 5 years doesn’t seem life much. However, for me, it’s about the story that has been transcribed over the past 5 years.

In the months and years following my graduation from high school this is what I’ve done:

Had my first serious medical procedure. Lost my grandfather. Decided not to got to Buffalo. Or become a CPA. Went to BCC & Oneonta instead– for nutrition. Got engaged. Moved in the my fiance. Survived driving 3 hours in a giant snow storm. Gained confidence. Experienced family fights in a new way. Got married. Learned (& keep learning) how to be in a relationship. Switched jobs. Went through life-changing family things. Became an Aunt. Became a Godmother. Learned new things about myself and became a stronger person. Had friendships, that I never thought would, become so much stronger. And had friendships, that I never thought would, fail. Learned what it means to truly be a role model. Learned how to be a better friend. Adopted a cat. Learned not to care what other people think. Worked hard in school. Graduated, and watched my husband graduate from college.  Held a wedding ceremony.  Got, and watched my husband get, a professional job. Moved back to the Southern Tier. Adopted a second cat. Bought a house. Became an Aunt again. And so. much. more…….

So much has happened in five years, sometimes it feels incredibly quick and other times it feels unbelievably long.  It’s weird, because those 4 years of college feel more distant than my senior year did. Sometimes 06-07 still feels like yesterday, and I think it’s because of how I lived my life then. In college, I found myself tired and frustrated on a regular basis. It was about getting from one day to the next. Now, it’s different. I cherish every moment and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime, much like I did in my senior year. That’s probably why I miss it so much. That doesn’t mean that I want to just go back there. Sometimes, I’d like to go there, just for an hour– to Kate’s car on senior lunch, blaring Glamorous –to escape, because life was simpler back then. Less responsibility, jobs that were less important, no houses, babies, or big responsibilities. Not because I don’t love everything I have now– I do, but just because it would be nice for things to be so easy again… just for a few minutes. I’m happy with my life now, I was happy then too, just in different ways.

So, here’s to the class of 2007, wherever you may be from, but especially to my OFA Indians. Our lives have changed and grown so much and they’ll continue to, but we’ll always share those beautiful memories (The Great Bouncy Ball prank, O-Zone, making the Spartans sign say ‘OFA ’07’. Ride Wit Me being our unofficial prom song, and so much more…). Here’s to the next five years and all the breathtaking, heartbreaking, life changing, and amazingly beautiful moments they will undoubtedly bring. Cheers…

And, here’s to the class of 2012, before you know it, you’ll be looking back at the last 5 years… so enjoy every moment!

“It’s times like these you learn to live again. It’s times like these you give and give again. It’s times life these you learn to love again. It’s times like these, time and time again.” -Foo Fighters


Once an Indian, always an Indian…