Ammon Kitchen, Writer/Anchor

“Hold on tight, this ride is a wild one,

Make no mistake the day will come 

When you can’t cover up what you’ve done

Now don’t lose your fight kid

It only takes a little push to pull on through

With so much left to do, you’ll be missing out

And we’ll be missing you”

-From Missing You (2015) by All Time Low

I’ve never been good with change. Anyone who knows me personally can confirm this. My life, for the most part, has been pretty straightforward, and I got a little too comfortable with where I was at. So when the slightest wind would come, I’d lose my footing, because I wasn’t used to it. So I bet you know what happened when I came across the biggest change, and challenge, of my lifetime.

If there’s one thing you should know about people from Ohio, it is that they tend to stay there. For quite a while, actually. So you can imagine my surprise when my parents, after the first 16 years of my life, decided that we should pack up and head west. I was in shock, and I was in pain, having to leave my best friends in the entire world, so many opportunities, like being cross country team captain and drum major in the marching band, and leaving behind the only home I’ve ever known. To be quite frank, it broke me. And it took me too long to see the light in it all, the silver lining. One thing is for sure, I am now all too familiar with change.

So, here’s what I’ve learned from two years of change:

You’ll never walk alone:

This iconic line, coined by Liverpool FC, could not be more relevant or significant. In today’s day and age, you are always connected to the world, and those who matter most to you. Through my two day journey across the great plains in a big yellow Penske truck, I spent countless hours on the phone with my close friends from back in Ohio, talking about the good times we’ve had together, and what’s next to come. While your situation may be different, the message is the same. You will always have a safety net of people who love you, and who care for you to fall back on, and who will help you get back on your feet. I was fortunate enough to stay in touch with an old friend, who experienced similar change to my situation, just a few years earlier.

Find a community:

This one is pretty similar. Being with people with similar interests, beliefs, and goals is a great way to deal with changes because oftentimes, you deal with it together. I was so blessed to find so many groups that I fit in with really quickly, the cross country and track teams, the broadcasting team, my youth group in my church, and even Chatfield as a whole. It is such a welcoming school that took me in and made me feel like I belonged here.

Let it be:

I’m not talking about the song by The Beatles. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not, I learned that the hard way. The best thing to do is to ride it out. It may be a bumpy ride, but with the right people by your side, you’ll be ok. If there’s one key takeaway I have from my two years in Colorado, is that everything happens for a reason, and it will all be ok in the end. And some things are simply out of your control, so why stress about them?

If you’re going hard enough left, you’ll find yourself going right:

Yes, I quoted the movie “Cars” and I’m not ashamed of it. What I take out of this quote is that not everything will be as it seems. Oftentimes, you’ll have to find another way to get where you’re going. When you face change, sometimes you need to be the change you want to see in your life to correct yourself, and to get back on the path you want to go. Being flexible is a huge part of being able to adapt to change.

My two years of change:

“Knowing that, nothing lasts forever

I didn’t care, before you were here

I danced in laughter, with the ever after

But all things change, let this remain”

– From Sirens (2013) by Pearl Jam

I moved to Littleton, Colorado from Avon, Ohio in June 2021, after completing my sophomore year of high school at Avon High School. It is now May 2023, 23 long months later, that seem to have flown by, and so much has changed since then. I’ve changed my daily routines, some of my life goals, while some have stayed the same. I’ve had a large change in who I associate with, different people who reflect what I love most about the people and my home back in Ohio. It’d take up an entire page just to mention all of them, but they know who they are. While planning my entire life around going to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, I have found myself enrolled to be a future student at their rival school, just across the mountain at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I have even found my home for the next two years, serving a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Brazil Florianópolis mission, speaking Portuguese. 

And for all of us seniors, the most important day of our life so far is just around the corner. We will be graduating on May 19th. I’ve always looked forward to graduation, after 13 years of public education we finally get a fancy piece of paper saying that we survived. As excited as I am, it looks a lot different than I expected. I expected to be in the graduation class of about 300 I’ve known my entire life, instead I will be in a class with about 430 people, many of whom I am unfamiliar with. I expected to be gathered in a large auditorium at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University. Instead, I will be in an outdoor amphitheater at Red Rocks watching the sun set, a perfect metaphor for high school coming to an end. I expected to walk across the stage, in a purple cap and gown, get my diploma, shaking the hand of Kristina Boeller. Instead, I will be walking across the stage in my burgundy cap and gown, getting my diploma, shaking the hand of John Thanos. I expected to be able to look out into the crowd, thinking to myself “I did it,” while being cheered on by my best friends in the entire world. That much, at least, I’m glad has stayed the same.

Thank you, Chatfield, for everything you’ve given me, and I’ve found a new home here in Colorado. We have so much left to do, I’ll be missing out, and I’ll be missing you.

That’s all for me, Chargers. Keep on Charging!