Campbell Hagan

See below for a link to Campbell’s audio file.


Lincoln to Lincoln

As a soon-to-be sophomore in high school, my fifteen-year-old brain was aching to do something adventurous. I looked back on my freshman year and thought about how I had no cool stories to tell my kids of my wild teenage years. Fortunately, one night, as I scrolled through Twitter, I saw that North Korea was planning to nuke the United State soon. Thus, as any normal fifteen- year-old would do, I texted my friend and asked jokingly if she wanted to sneak out, not expecting a yes in return, but that is exactly what I received. Little did I know that one little response from my friend would be the root of the one and only “wild teenage story” I have for my kids. 

As my friend and I look back on this night, she tells me how her “yes” did not mean “yes.” It was a mere joke to her as well, but her saying yes led me to jokingly make a plan for the night. I decided that I could take my parents’ Lincoln, which would soon be mine as I turned sixteen, to my friend’s house. Then we could drive thirty minutes by interstate to our other friend’s house in Lincoln, pick her up, and see where the night would take us. As I pitched this idea to my two friends, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that we should follow through with the plan and sneak out. It was not only the thought of seeming cool to kids our age but the rush of taking a risk that led me to tell my friends I was going to take the car if they wanted to join me. 

When I told my friends I was on my way, they did not believe me, but oh, was I serious. I went into the kitchen as quietly as I could to grab the keys to the car and went climbing into the vehicle. I turned off the lights of the car and slowly backed out of my driveway. At this point, I was trembling with fear. I was confident in my driving skills, but the potential of me getting caught had become ten times more real. Because I was only fifteen at the time, I drove as if I was taking the drivers test: five below the speed limit and ten-and-two the whole way. When I arrived at my friend’s house, my phone was dead, so I ran around her house, made a wild guess of which window was hers, and hoped for the best. Luckily, my guess was right because I was greeted by a very surprised version of my friend. Everything seemed to be going great, so we hopped in the car and began our journey to Lincoln.

The trip on the interstate was going swimmingly. As we were about to arrive at my second friend’s house, we were celebrating how we had successfully snuck out. It was indeed a success until I heard my phone ring. It was my brother. He had said he was not staying at our house that night, so I felt no need to alert him of my excursion. He seemed like he just wanted to have a conversation about the vacation I had just taken, which was strange, but I felt relieved that that was all he wanted. This relief left when my brother said “Actually, I want to know how your trip is now… to Lincoln.” My heart dropped as I heard these words. I immediately begged him to not tell our mom, but unfortunately, it was too late. My mom yelled from the background, “Oh, she already knows!” We had been caught, and it did not seem good. So, we found a place to turn around and headed home. 

My mom and I joke about it now, but Mom did not think it was funny that night. After this, I decided I would never try to steal the car, nor would I ever cross my mom again. Also, next time I see a tweet saying the world may end, I will not say “YOLO” and do something that could get me in trouble. 

Please click on the arrow below to hear Campbell’s Senior Reading.