It’s been almost three years since I graduated high school, but there are still a few times a year when I really start to miss those days. Part of me is glad to have left the rumor-filled halls that seemed to haunt my every move, but another part of me misses so many of my crazy adventures in that tiny school. I hear most people talk about how much they hated high school or how they would never go back in a million years. It makes me realize just how fortunate I was to go to such a wonderful school with such a great group of people. Sure, there were crappy times, but none of those experiences will ever outweigh the fun that I had those four, incredible years.
When you first start high school, all of the seniors will tell you to enjoy every single moment because it goes so much faster than you think it ever will. But you won’t believe them. You won’t believe them until you accidentally blink and you find yourself delivering a speech just before you’re handed a diploma and shoved out into the real world.
High school might’ve been a chapter that I couldn’t wait to finish, but it’s certainly one that I’ll spend the rest of my life cherishing:
There are few things that I love more than Friday Night Lights. In fact, there might not be anything that I love more than Friday Night Lights. Football season was always my favorite season; even when we weren’t that great, there was no place that I’d rather be than on the sidelines screaming as loudly as I possibly could. In college, I thought that I would love football just as much as high school; instead, I found myself traveling back to the 712 just to get a glimpse at my little brother in his football uniform. There’s something special about personally knowing every single boy on the football field, and I’m not convinced that there’s any other feeling quite like it.
I don’t care who you are, high school dances were filled with awkward firsts and giggling girls and moves that will always beat the club. I’ve spent my entire life loving to dance. I started dancing when I was 3 years old, but absolutely nothing can prepare you for your first high school dance. No one tells you that it’s just going to be a bunch of girls jumping around in a circle screaming lyrics and eyeing the boys when the slow songs come on. No one tells you that there’s magic in those moments that you won’t ever get back. In college, I used to make my friends go out dancing because I thought that it was going to provide the same kind of exhilaration. Don’t get me wrong, going dancing in college can be fun, but it can also be a nightmare of gross boys and needy girls. There’s no more innocence and there’s no more hoping your crush will ask you to dance during the slow songs; instead, there’s just bodies of strangers you’ll never know and sweat of people you’ll never speak to.
Every year, when a new sport starts, I desperately wish I could be back on the court. I played sports year-round in high school, so I didn’t really know a life without sports until college. I was never the best girl on the court; actually, I was pretty much just mediocre at everything I did. But no one can ever explain how much it will hurt when you go from four years of nonstop sports to having to force yourself into the gym by yourself everyday. No longer will you have a coach pushing you, no longer will you have a team to fight for, no longer will you be working for any other goal besides your own mind and body. I had always known that sports would end at high school for me, and that freshman year of college would be difficult when the new basketball girls put on their jerseys for the first time, but I didn’t know that I would miss it every single year just as much as I missed it the first.
Speech was the happiest time of the year. Most of the time, I was a sporty girl, but speech is where my heart felt at home. Speech was where you got to be crazy, where you got to make other people laugh, and where you got to throw yourself into a whole different world for at least a few weeks. There was no better feeling than when you’d perform a piece with both of your coaches laughing hysterically in the audience only to find that you’d received three 1-ratings from the judges.
Prom dress shopping was a dream come true (even if in real life, it was actually horrible). I actually hated prom dress shopping a lot; I’m way too picky, too detail-oriented, and too crabby to enjoy any part of prom dress shopping. But every year when I watch girls post pictures from prom dress shopping, then get to go to prom, I get jealous. Jealous that I’ll never again be able to wear a big poofy dress like that, get ready with my friends, and dance the night away at a huge high school party. (Sure, my wedding will be pretty similar, but let’s be honest, that dance party is at least 10 years in the future.)
Now, I get to spend my life exploring new cities and writing funny stories for people to read. But sometimes, when I watch my little brother put on his football jersey or when I watch my little sister perform a hilarious speech, I get pangs of nostalgia that make me wish it could’ve lasted forever.