An Open Letter to My High School: I Loved You and Miss You

Severna Park High School. Photo credit: Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Dear Severna Park High School (or as we lovingly called you, SPHS),

I’m not sure if you remember me. I walked your halls many, many years ago now, when I was a lot lighter and more agile. I was a member of the cheerleading squad and captain my senior year. I took French class with Madame Hammerstrom and she called me by my chosen French name, Michelle. I had lots of friends and drove a white ’72 Chevy Malibu that didn’t quite suit me, but everyone got a kick out of it. I had a cute boyfriend and I never minded attending classes. Never.

Do you remember me? Because I sure remember you. Those were some of the best years of my life. When I think of high school, it is with nothing but a heartwarming fondness. It had such a profound impact on my life.

Today, I stepped inside your walls for the first time in twenty-some years. It felt like I was just there yesterday. I stood in the cafeteria and remembered having lunch with Harry, dancing with Chip at some dance, and meeting friends for activities. I walked down the hallways and saw the yellow walls, the blue lockers. I remembered decorating the football players’ lockers for Homecoming, sneaking in after hours so they wouldn’t know, smothering them with streamers and stickers and goodies. I remembered hanging out with Hope, Anne-Marie, and the rest of the girls. I remember when David told the sub his name was “Spike.” There are so many things I can recall…but I’m sure you get lots of letters like this.

I remembered loving every minute of being a part of your school.

I actually was moved and touched to be there again. It was as if the walls had voices, as if I could see my old friends, their voices echoing through the hallways.

After I left and got into my car, I called my husband who is visiting his friend.

“I picked up your packet,” I said, choking back tears.

“Oh,” he said, “are you at Severna Park High School?”

“Yes,” I said. I was picking up a shirt he would have received had the Annapolis 10-miler not been rained out due to the hurricane a couple of months back. The pick up of items was today, and it happened to be at my alma mater.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I told him I was feeling nostalgic. I told him it made me feel warm and fuzzy. I told him those were some of the best days of my life.

Luckily for me, he understands what I mean and isn’t offended by a statement as grand as this. I’ve had some pretty fantastic times since then, but there was something extremely special about high school. It was a unique time of little responsibility and just lots and lots of fun. Sure there were growing pains, but they were lovely growing pains. There was a sense of freedom and happiness. We were all carefree. We thought we were worldly, but we were still just kids.

I’m so thankful and appreciative that my years were spent at SPHS, and I just thought you should know.

With Love From,

One of your many grateful students

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