My dearest event-planning, school-work-avoiding friends, Catie and Taylor, and I at some point this semester discussed our mutual longing to throw our own formal of sorts for all of our misfit non-Greek friends. We decided we would call it H.A.G.S ball & pose it as a sort of cheesy college prom. If you have to ask me what HAGS means you clearly did not attend an elementary school that provided yearbooks or encouraged cheesy year-end behavior. I am very sorry for you. Brought together by this noble cause, we spent much of the semester venue hunting, annoying our friends about chipping in a few bucks to help us pay for a beautiful open-air venue, praying that it wouldn't rain because no one had any idea what we'd do if it did, figuring out what to do when it did indeed start raining, and generally freaking out in a mix of nostalgic excitement and monetary horror.

Then, I had to write a "ceremonial speech" for my last assignment in public speaking (I actually loved this class & highly recommend it to narcissists looking for an opportunity to speak, uninterrupted, for minutes on end while an entire classroom of real live humans is forced to politely listen to you). I decided to forgo my teacher's organizational suggestions for the speech and write it in a completely random, rambling format late at night. I then subjected not only my class members but also my aforementioned misfit friends to listen my word vomit it at the ball.

SO NOW, I present to you my corny & nostalgic ramblings. 
Enjoy & Have A Great Summer everyone. 

T O   S E N I O R   Y E A R

Here’s to senior year
To skipping class a few times too many
To hooking up and hanging out
To falling in love without fear
To making mistakes
And getting over all the little things we fought about

To spontaneous road trips
And football games we may not have paid any attention to
But we made sure to learn the cheerleaders’ choreography
because that’s what it’s really about, right?

To watching our friends get engaged and married
I still don’t understand why that’s happening already???!
And to the fact that we somehow managed to (hopefully) pass all of our classes

A couple D’s can still get us degrees, am I right laydeeez

To late night talks
And worrying far too much about the future
To singing auld lang syne together on Robert burns night
To laying on the floor talking nonsense
And dogpiling on each others’ beds
Acting like these four years have been our own sort of sleepaway camp
Where we lived out all our teenage dreams

I’d also like to give a personal shout out to the big man himself, Papa John,
For unofficially fueling our senior year
God bless that man.
Even though he is the sole reason that the freshman 15 I never gained
finally caught up with me this year.

To new experiences –
things that are now old, things that we will never try again.

To the fearless invincibility of youth –
And the burning desire to prove ourselves worthy & prove all the naysayers wrong.

May we love without reason and make choices based on passion instead of greed.
May we never be boringly practical.

The world may tell you: now you’ve learned everything there is to learn.
Now you have your degree and the time for exploration is over.
The so-called real world awaits you
and you have to find your cubby there and stay in it,
keeping your eyes focused on the life plan laid out before you.

But I pray that we always have wandering eyes,
open to the beauty of possibility, seeing our biggest obstacles as great opportunities.

To the great and terrible times we’ve had –
whatever times they were, we had them together.
May we never forget the flashes of wisdom or the many, many follies of our youth.
And may we always remember how little we had here and how much we made of it.
May we never forget each other – or ourselves.

Never forget these people around you,
who loved and cared for you in your wildest and sloppiest and shittiest and freest times.

Remember these relationships when your patience is tested
and your hubris blinds you from wanting to extend a helping hand to others.

Here’s to every single one of you.
Thank you for being the people that I hold most dear.
To senior year and to finally getting out of here –
no matter how much we may miss it once it’s gone,
we’ve done everything we came to do and more.

May we now venture into the many wondrous worlds beyond our comfort zones and never return.

To all of you.