They say that college will be the greatest four years of your life, but you know what, they say that about high school too. And for incoming freshmen, your greatest four years are still somewhere between being born and graduating as a senior in high school. They don’t tell you what the next four years will hold, but they also don’t tell you want the next four years won’t hold in store for you.
There is so much that is lost after high school, and so much you’ll miss when leaving. Here’s just a few things I will miss when I leave high school — and hopefully they can resonate with you. Because even though there are so many adventures and opportunities ahead, there is so much that you leave behind by going to college.
1. The Free Period Appreciation
Sure, not all of us had free periods, but, for those who did (I had one every other day all senior year), it was like someone with a higher power was granting you a wish. You had three or four classes, then a 42-minute break, then back to class. That break was actually heaven. There was so much you could do in that time: finish your homework, see friends you wouldn’t see otherwise, eat (I barely had a chance to grab a bite in physics or any other class) and even sleep (if you wanted, but that was only a select group of people). In college, you’re whole experience is surrounded with free periods. The appreciation for a 42-minute slot of freedom is definitely less appreciated.
2. Art Music Jams
My high school art teacher (shoutout to Mrs. Haffar) always played really amazing music while in class. The genres ranged from 80s workout music to Bo Burnham, and if that isn’t amazing, you’re listening to the wrong music. Either way, she would always know what the kids were feeling like that day, and played music to best help us through our strange senior stresses, such as AP classes, college essays, Scholastics and through race days. She was always there for me when I stressed about writing something or I was stressed about doing well in a race over the weekend. Her music taste and music instinct is something I’ll lose when I graduate, but I can now say I know all the words to “Take On Me” by heart.
3. AP Literature and James Franco References
While other AP classes may have other inside jokes, mine was James Franco. If you have never read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, I highly suggest you do. Then, after you’re done, I suggest watching James Franco’s adaptation of the book. It’s strange, but really interesting. What really drew my class to James Franco was his need to make himself the main character in the movie, so our class came up with a hashtag, #francolovesfranco. When he later made an Instagram post about William Faulkner, the hashtag became #francolovesfaulker? — question mark included. We even tried to get a Skype session with Franco, but clearly that didn’t happen.
4. Melon Ball
If you don’t know what Melon Ball is, here’s the inside scoop: You play on the tennis court and there are teams of 4-6 people. It’s basically a mix of volleyball and tennis. The ball has to bounce before it gets hit and has three hits to get over to the other side. My team won three championships in this game, which is absolutely crazy. Not having to take gym EVERY OTHER DAY[SS1] in college will be nice, but it’s going to be tough not having some sort of competition against your classmates in really rainy or ridiculously hot weather. I mean, sure, I’ll miss the games. The weather, of course, will not be missed.
5. After School Hikes with my Friends
Adventures are going to be had in college, no doubt. But, the connection you have with your high school friends is one that you can’t seem to have anywhere else. Your stresses are the same, and you can talk about literally nothing besides how terrible the weather is and still be happy. I went on a ridiculous number of hikes my senior year with the greatest people in the world. We always went before practice to vent about school and talk about our biggest problems — some less important than others, like falling down in the hallway, which seems to happen more often than not. It’s not that the hikes themselves were easy, or fun, at times. It’s more about my friends and I having this experience together and achieving something that doesn’t need to have validation in a medal or in a grade that seems — correction: is — amazing. Sure, the hikes could just be a walk in the park, but they could be actual hikes on reservations and by lakes, and what mattered to us, was having a connection to nature and to friends, which only made us closer.
While some of these are not things that you may relate to, I’m sure there are things that you are going to miss just as much as I miss these events. I never imagined that I would miss gym class with my melon ball team, but we have only a few classes together left, and it’s kind of scary. I never imagined I would care that much about James Franco, but I do, and I blame American Literature for doing that. See, it’s not about relating to what I’ll miss, it’s about what you’ll miss. If it is something as simple as the free period at the end of your day, or the coffee runs on Tuesdays with your best friend, appreciate it now while you still have the chance. Because, at least for me, not hiking before practice with my teammates will be one of the hardest things to leave behind.
But here’s to college! Because there will be even more things to miss when you get there.
Lead Image Credit: A&M Films, Channel Productions