An Open Letter to SHS…

Harrison Cottrill, Arts Editor

Dear Seymour High School,

It’s at a time like this where I sit and wonder, “Where did all the time go?” It seems like just a couple weeks ago I was a freshman sprinting from band to biology to get there on time. I didn’t figure out until sophomore year that you can go outside and walk a much shorter path to the 300 building. This is just one of the many experiences I had within the walls of SHS.

I remember arguing with my parents prior to freshman year over what sports I would play and what activities I would be involved in. I didn’t want to do much, but they forced me to get very involved. They always said, “You’ll regret it if you don’t.” Of course, band was a non-negotiable, but we’ll just skip that for now. Over the course of these four years, I have met every single friend through activities we have shared, and I hate to admit it but my parents were right. Getting involved has made high school experience 100% more enjoyable. As a kid my dad always made me play basketball. He played it all throughout his childhood, high school career, and intramurally at IU. I was always decent at it, but never quite excelled. I have always been tall and could shoot pretty well so that is where my successes came from. Nevertheless, in my 8th-grade year, I dislocated my hip during a game and was ruled out for the season due to nerve and tendon damage. Ever since then, I have had trouble running and with pelvic flexibility in general. I went to try out for the basketball team during my freshman year and got cut for that reason. My sophomore year I decided to give swimming a try and found that I was pretty good at it. I met a lot of my friends through my 3 years of swim and have countless memories singing with the Polley twins to Coach Boggs’ music while dying during practice. Seeing the reactions of peers and teachers around the school when we bleach our hair and walk in on that first day like a blonde army is priceless. And when we shave our heads? Forget about it. You can always tell a swimmer from others due to the dramatic hair differences. Along with that, I found my niche swimming the backstroke and have had some success over my short swimming career.

A lot of people around the school knew me as Mr. Cottrill’s son, the music kid, or with little comments like, “Hey aren’t you that kid that had the mustache and accent?” And to answer that question, yes I was, and Mr. Perry never let me forget about it either. The thing I will most miss about high school is the music-making and camaraderie. I feel like I have made a name for myself in Earl D. Prout Auditorium, and I can only hope that I have inspired younger kids to enjoy music as I have. Through my four years of both band and choir, I have made most of my memories. The long days of IU Band Day, my junior year when Varsity Chorale got to sing “Caledonia” live with Voces8, the countless halftime performances and football games, and all the moments surrounding my three musicals have impacted me and changed me into the person I am today. I will never forget playing “Confident” during my freshman year as the first marching band song in my first marching show. I will never forget conducting “Finesse” in my junior year as the first song I conducted as a drum major. I will never forget the crappy weather we got for our senior night or the last time I heard the fight song played as a high school student. I will never forget making Mr. Karum angry almost every class period with the Polley twins and then sucking up during the musical season. I will never forget the first time I willingly sang a solo in front of people during the first performance of “Into The Woods” in my sophomore year. I will never forget my choral mentor, Bryse Colwell, telling me after a performance of “The Addams Family” that SHS finally had a person deserving of a lead role. And I will never forget March 13th as the last day I’d make music with others at SHS. To quote “Mamma Mia! the Musical…” “Thank you for the music, for giving it to me.”

Seeing as we are at an unprecedented time in history, I can’t help but feel like my high school experience is incomplete. We won’t have an “official” Senior Prom, we won’t have a traditional graduation like countless classes before us, and we will never get to walk through the halls KNOWING it is our last day. I planned to stay a bit extra after the last day of school and just peruse through the hallways to soak up the final memories, but that was stripped away. There is nothing we can do now but move on and cherish what was. My advice to the younglings would be to savor each and every moment because it all ends before you know it. Instead of worrying about the future, sit back every once in a while, experience life, and relish all the little moments in between. Thank you for the unforgettable memories Seymour High School.


Harrison M. Cottrill