I know … many people don’t even want to think about high school after they graduate, and it may not have been the happiest of times for everyone, but you have to admit that there were some good experiences with which pretty much all of us could relate.
To say the least, high school was much different than college, but no matter what your personal experience was, you can acknowledge that there were fewer responsibilities and more opportunities to just goof off. Maybe I’m only feeling nostalgic because I now have a lot more financial worries and debt as a college student than I ever did as a high schooler, but high school did have its other perks.
I never thought I’d say I miss walking every day through those same halls, yet I do. It’s possible you do, too. Here are three reasons about why you might miss high school.
1. The generally smaller size of high schools in comparison to colleges allows for deeper bonds to be built with your classmates.
Whether it was joking around at your locker before class or offering a classmate a ride home after school, spending four years with one group of people inevitably made you close with at least some of them. You didn’t need to work as hard to make friends since you were all in a relatively small space, anyway. Being around the same group of people all the time created bonds that maybe didn’t last a lifetime but definitely lasted long enough to get you through high school.
At college, it’s a bit more difficult to form deep bonds like the ones in high school since a college campus is much larger and you need to go further out of your way to connect with people. You can’t just run into the same people in the halls or see them at your locker every day. You need to consciously make plans to see classmates with whom you want to form friendships. In high school, making quick friends was easier because either your lockers were right next to each other, or you were in the same English class for three years.
Also, smaller grade sizes in high school guaranteed that people saw you all the time and that they most likely cared about your wellbeing. Not that classmates in college don’t care, but with such large grade sizes and every student having a different schedule, you don’t see the same people from your grade every day, or really everyone from your grade ever. The lack of constant interaction with the same group of people makes it harder to connect on an emotional level with all your classmates in college.
High school was a place where if you had an emotional breakdown and started crying at your locker, your classmates, whom you actually knew, would be coming up and offering help. When everyone knows each other in high school, there’s this comfort in going to school everyday that college doesn’t have, because you know you’ll have people readily available whom you can count on if you need to.
In college, unless your best friend happened to be passing by at the time of your emotional breakdown, most people unfortunately wouldn’t give you a second glance. Just like you, they have a lot on their plates for school and their own relationships to maintain.
2. There are milestones from high school you will never experience again.
Think prom, sports games, spirit week, senior trip, etc. You must have attended at least one of these milestone events, and no matter what kind of time you had (hopefully it was a fun time), you can never experience most of them again. The excitement of getting ready for prom or the anticipation of your senior trip to the beach are situations unique to high school, and a prime source of nostalgia towards the teenager years.
Even if you scoffed at these activities and weren’t an active participant in most of them, you can’t tell me you didn’t go to at least one sports game or take part in your senior trip. Some senior trips are mandatory, in fact. Even if you weren’t someone with a ton of school spirit, these milestones were an important part of high school life and hopefully you had some fun at prom or took part in the ridiculousness of spirit week. Maybe your favorite milestone was high school graduation, and that’s completely valid.
You might even end up reminiscing about the milestones you don’t think about that often, like getting your license or prepping for the SAT. The biggest problem you had was whether you would pass the driving test or how much prep was enough prep for the SAT. Now, your problems range more along the lines of whether you have enough money to eat this week or what to even do about graduate school. If I could relive prom all over again, I would.
3. You were still a teenager, and so your high school responsibilities were significantly more low-key than your adult ones.
Do you ever miss when your biggest problem was whether you would get pizza or a turkey sandwich at lunch? Or sitting in math class trying to figure out the Pythagorean Theorem and thinking it was impossible? (Just wait). Now you most likely have adult responsibilities like paying the rent and figuring out how car insurance works. It was nice when your parents or guardian took care of all that for you so you could go and do fun teenager activities, like meeting your friends at the mall or having a study date with your crush.
Perhaps you had homework and some chores to, but that at-the-time outrageous workload all seems more appealing now, since you’re taking college classes and must pick up after yourself all the time, not just when your mom asks you to. It’s interesting to look back on the high school stress that once came across as so monumental and urgent. Those problems seem like child’s play once you’re thrown into the adult world, and really, they are just child’s play. Sometimes, it’s easy to wish you were back in high school with no bills to pay and your biggest worry was where you were going to sit in science class because your teacher had just assigned new seats.
So, again, maybe I’m merely being nostalgic and high school really wasn’t that great for you, but there were some great moments. There were also nice classmates who cared and would drop everything for you simply because you knew each other. Obviously, not everyone in high school was nice and some people might not even talk to anyone from their high school anymore after they graduated.
But you must admit that for those four short years, you formed a close bond with some classmates, took part in at least one milestone and were able to be a carefree teenager. I hope that even if you swore on graduation day that you would never miss high school, this list made you a little nostalgic, if only for a moment.