High school is a formative time in every teenager’s life. There are things about it that nobody likes, like homework, bullies, and p*berty, but there are also plenty of great moments that we miss. Staying up late on the phones with our friends, finding out that your secret crush likes you back, and not having any bills to pay just to name a few.
So, when people on Reddit were asked what they miss most about high school, they couldn’t wait to chime in. Keep reading to hear their answers and take a trip down memory lane.
I miss the freedom I felt hanging out with my friends and how excited I could be over nothing— meaning we may just be riding around or stopping at Wendy’s for a Frosty, everything brought me happiness. I miss the specific type of freedom and joy I got from those moments.
I think the thing I miss most is that feeling that goes through your entire body and soul when you see that pretty girl for the first time and she smiles at you and you just know that you two are going to have some great times together. I miss that feeling of having such a crush on her that even just knowing you might run into her tonight is enough to get you feeling like electricity in the air just before a big thunderstorm.
Social media consisted mostly of AIM. No Facebook, and MySpace wasn’t very popular yet.
Also, cell phones were a rarity. I really miss not being expected to be instantly reachable at any time. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the hell out of my pocket computer, but that aspect I do miss.
4. Everything was easy
It was so easy. I had a car my parents paid for, zero bills, all the money I made was personal spending money, I had a constant group of friends to hang out with and went to school in one of the best areas of the city with tons of shops within walking distance.
I was a privileged upper-middle-class kid and everything was ridiculously easy. High school was great.
5. No worries
How straightforward and safe it was. Your biggest worry was having bad grades or getting rejected by your crush.
Adulthood is like having your blinders removed and realizing you are walking on a narrow edge with chasms at the sides.
6. No problem
I had so much hope for the future. I could enjoy the “here and now” without letting the bad things get to me too much because I knew that high school was only a small part of my life. Didn’t have money? No problem, I’ll have more when I get older. No girlfriend? No problem, I’ve still got plenty of time to find “the one”!
Looking back, I can see that teenage thought that life would just “happen” to me. Ignorance was bliss, but now I’m paying for it.
Seeing friends every single day.
You try to stay in touch as much as possible but I certainly underestimated how hard that is.
8. Whatcha up to?
I miss knowing what everybody is up to! I know it sounds weird and I don’t mean it in a creepy way at all. It was just much easier to know what everybody was doing and how they were when you saw them every day. No weird “let’s get coffee sometime” texts to friends to catch up. No complicated friend groups. No having to go out of your way to meet people. No having to introduce yourself with your occupation tagged on the end.
9. Everyone knew everyone
In a way, I felt like I mattered more. Sort of a “big fish in a small pond” kind of deal. I was so much more involved in extracurriculars than I am now. I played a varsity sport, was in two musical groups, and was in two other academic teams (think speech team, mock trial, mathletes kind of thing). I had more of an identity. In college and beyond, you’re kind of dumped into the “real world” where there are thousands of people like you out there, and it’s easier to lose a sense of purpose and belonging in the anonymity of the masses.
Also, everyone knew everyone. Yeah, there are a few people you might not like so much, but you get to see your friends every day. You knew where to find people. That might be a bad thing if you’re deliberately trying to avoid someone, but I personally was on pretty good terms with everyone at my school.
10. The sweet spot
Freedom in Grade 9 and 10.
Those two years you are in that sweet spot. Not old enough to really have to worry about your future but not so young that parents are constantly stressing about where you are and what you are doing.
I could go to school, hang with friends after school, not do homework, not study and still keep people happy. I got average grades which for 16-year-old me was more than good enough.
How simple everything was. All you had to do was go to school every day and do homework when you get home. That was the only thing I had to worry about: some homework and maybe a test or two, maybe a crush I had on some guy… but that was it.
12. Missing everything
I miss the people. I was unpopular (or so I thought, turns out they liked me when I wasn’t pushing everyone away.) I was in a small school, 300 people total. I miss the lack of responsibility. I miss the lazy afternoons in the spring when it was warm enough to take your coat off and lounge at the park nearby. I miss going to lunch at the burger joint on the corner and walking back to school with a pop in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other joking with my friends. I miss the feeling of endless possibility. I miss the sound of the crowd screaming when I got my first and only win on the wrestling team. I miss cheering the football team. I miss my teachers, even the ones I hated.
13. Bills? What are those?
Having a job but no real bills.
I miss Brenda. She wasn’t into me or anything; she had a boyfriend, but she would talk to me sometimes when we were finished with track practice and I was waiting for the bus and she was waiting for her ride. She talked a mile a minute and said whatever was on her mind, and I found her delightful. We talked to each other at track and cross country meets too. I remember one time we were talking at a cross country meet while it was pouring down rain, and for some reason, she hugged me. I don’t know why she did it, but it felt wonderful. Sometime during junior year, her boyfriend knocked her up. She finished junior year, took summer school to get enough credits to graduate, and the two of them went off to get married. I never saw her again. (Sigh)
I did theatre for most of high school. I miss hanging out with my closest friends in the auditorium every day. I miss making memes with each other before a show. I also miss the collective sense of accomplishment when we had a good show. It was just blissful.
Man, I used to laugh so much! It was just a different kind of laugh where your stomach hurts and you sometimes even fall to the ground. I can remember a couple of times it happened so vividly and it kinda makes me feel sad that it doesn’t happen anymore.
17. Time and energy
No responsibilities, tons of free time, loads of energy. I’d go to school at 7, get off at 3, work 4 till 8 or so, hit the gym for an hour, go home and shower, and go to bed. Doing that 5 days a week now would absolutely kill me.
The thing I miss the most is being bored. I don’t know if teenagers currently even have this anymore. Five to six kids sitting there trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Among our stupid ideas were:
– Trying to do skateboard/razor scooter tricks into a pool.
– Blowing up a large ants’ nest with kerosene.
– Deciding to play 7 minutes in heaven with a definitely inadequate ratio of guys to girls, which led to some hurt feelings, but eh.
Our collective imaginations got lazier once I got a car and we all just piled in there and loitered at the mall non-stop.
The ability to be naive about how the world really works.
20. More crushes
It’s strange, but… having crushes. I can’t remember the last time I knew a girl and just… pined for her. Just not being able to speak correctly around or to her, fantasizing about the smallest things, just wanting to be around her.
I just miss having that kind of innocent, weak-in-the-knees… just, sorta, desire. And not ‘desire’ just in the context of sex. I mean just liking somebody so much and wanting so much to tell them (and having real difficulty doing so) and wanting so badly to have them like you back.
I miss that feeling. I miss that… pull, in my heart, toward somebody.
21. Friends and teachers
A few friendships and some awesome teachers/classes as a result of awesome teachers. Now, most of those friendships have splintered into absolute nothingness and most of the cool teachers have retired, moved, or died over the last 5 years.
The teachers. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have wonderful teachers until several years later.
23. Bad to the bone
Not having a care in the world. Skipping class to break into the attic above the theater and pilfer stuff or fish at the pond behind the football field. Going to football games and making out under the bleachers only stopping to check the scoreboard now and then. Doing cringeworthy stuff to be edgy before I even knew what cringe or edgy was.
24. Best desks
Those desks where the chair was attached. I could crack my back so good with those things. I miss being able to do that regularly.
Anyone else feeling nostalgic?