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Why I Actually Miss High School

There’s this stigma now about high school that we’re all in college. That "oh my god finally I made it out of that hell hole of 4 years and am onto bigger and better things" feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, I love college. I love the friends I’ve made here, the experiences I’ve encountered, the freedom I have, a place to call my own, but I do miss high school. And sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who ever has those thoughts. All I hear about high school now is that it was irrelevant, it didn’t matter, or people hated it. Here’s what I believe:

I loved high school.

It’s still important to me today.

And it mattered because it shaped me into the person I am.

Some reasons are goofy, other are more serious, but there are many reasons I miss high school still in college.

I miss walking down the hallway and seeing my friends. Every single day you knew they were going to be there along with you.

I miss being on a team; I loved high school sports. It was something I looked forward to each day after class, and it forced me to be physically fit. Now running once a month is considered my physical activity. Now it's just naps on naps on naps and intramural games where I run three feet and I'm tired.

I also miss how small the world was. When you’re in your hometown, that’s really all you know. You have the same people around you and the same places, like this little warm cocoon of youth. I miss that. At college sometimes the world just seems like a huge place that could swallow me whole if I let it. Having a community that I know was what I loved about high school.

I miss being more stress-free and young. I thought high school was stressful, jump 4 years later to college and honey, you don’t know what stressful is yet until you need to learn how financial aid works and have an eight hour shift at work the day before a big test. Some days I wish I could go back to the times where I didn’t have to worry about money as much and just focus on heading to the friday night football game with my friends. When they were just a short car drive away.

People think that in order to be happy you need to love the present, but as much as I love where I am now in life, I can’t escape from missing the past. And that doesn’t make me unhappy, I think it actually makes me even more happy. Because I have these awesome memories that will follow me throughout my life: it’s something I can hold onto. Believe me I’m going to hold onto winning “best dressed” in high school for the rest of my life, and I’m going to hold onto where I came from because it’s where I started. I love Stoughton, Massachusetts and all the growing up I did there.

Stephen King said,  “I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.” Well Mr. King, I guess there’s something wrong with me because I loved those years. And yeah, I’m still young at 19 years old, but I’ll miss my sixteen-year-old self. And I hope she’s looking at me now and sees all that crap, tears, laughs, late nights, bonfires and parties were worth everything. Because that was high school, and that was me. So don’t be so quick to say you want out, because someday you might actually miss high school, your hometown, and the person you were there.

Photo: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
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Carson McGrath

U Mass Amherst

Carson McGrath is in her first year at the University of Massachusetts. She is studying English and Journalism and hopes to one day write professionally. She is a triplet and loves the color orange, sushi, and Audrey Hepburn.
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