As the season of high school graduation approaches, we all take the time to celebrate. We can't wait for college — to get out of our hometown and to not be under our parent's rules! While our eyes are open to endless realities that were once just futuristic dreams, we are often blinded to the things we'll miss. Not the football games or the pep rallies, but the more unusual things. Things like no more homeroom, study halls with friends or people by your side that you have known since kindergarten. In the moment, they were torture. I’m sure you rolled your eyes more times than it was appropriate and groaned to your best friend, saying “I can’t wait to graduate so we don’t have to deal with this anymore.” Well, here's a list of a few of those moments that I have a feeling you're going to miss once it's too late — at least I know I will.
1. The Schedule
What do you mean I don’t have homework to start at 8 p.m.? You mean I don’t have to get up and go to school for exactly six hours and 27 minutes, 180 days a year? This has been my routine for the past 12 years and I don’t know if I am ready to change it.
2. Gym Class
It took until senior year, but with the right class and the right teacher, gym became the best class of the day. I looked forward to it — it was basically an hour of goofing around with friends and telling stories with our gym teacher. Plus I got a mini workout in while in school which meant less reasons to work out later! Gym class really just makes you feel good.
3. That Horrible Teacher and the Classmate Who Made it Bearable
We all know that one class where the teacher just got on your nerves. They couldn’t accept if they were wrong, refused to ever actually teach you what you needed to learn and graded everything, including pretests (Who does that? You're not even expected to know the answers which is why it’s called a PREtest, as in BEFORE the actual test). Luckily you had that classmate right next to you that felt the same way. Without them, who knows if you would have made it through.
4. The Outsiders
You know, those people who are just kinda there? They're just kind of around? They’re people that you're not friends with but you've had an interaction with them here or there. To the ones who thought positive opinions about me, I'm gonna miss you. To the boys who I never talked to but thought were cute, I’m gonna miss looking at you. To the people who never spoke to me once in our 13 years of school together, your loss.
5. My Principal
Even though he gave a speech about a shoe at graduation, an assembly speech where he described the decapitation of a child in a car accident he once witnessed and he is nearly impossible to communicate with, I'll miss him. It was nice to be able to bond with classmates over his nonsense.
6. Senior Privs
Now at my school, we had these things called senior privs. Basically, if you had a study hall first period or last period, you could either come in late or leave early depending on the time of your study hall. During these study halls I would always go to a coffee shop with friends, get breakfast, take the time to sleep in or take a nap. It was a nice break and it was a great feeling to earn them as a senior.
7. The Pressure From Choosing a Senior Quote
And a flower and a song and every other decision you have to make as a class. These moments were so stressful you often went with what your friends chose. I'll miss the pressure of thinking of every possible song, wondering which one will fit best as the song I walk out to as a high school graduate. In the long run, this most likely won't alter life in any life-changing way, but I’ll miss the fun of choosing for what seemed like a big life decision.
8. Substitute Teachers
Substitute teachers are typically the same within a school, so when you walk into the class and see a sub, you can often predict how the class is going to go. Some of them taught the class like it was their own, others liked to write sports scores on the board and others didn’t care as long as you got what you needed to get done before class the next day. Substitutes always made the class different than it normally was and in a small high school, it was nice to have change for a day.
9. Having Expectations of Your New Teachers
With teachers, mostly every student knew every teacher either from having them or from a story they heard. You knew all about teachers based off of the stories classmates have told and going into a class, you were prepared to switch out on the first day based on a teacher's track record. I'll miss that feeling of having expectations based off of primary sources.
10. Free Parking
I’m not sure about your high school, but my high school had free parking. We as students did not have to pay for parking and we could choose any spot we’d like, any day we’d like. The earlier you go the better spot you got — you just had to hope that whoever parked next to you did a decent job.
11. The Nurse
My school nurse was an absolute delight. She was always there to let you lay down, give you a blanket or send you home if you told her “I just need to go home.” She was kind of like a mom at school — trustworthy and kind. The nurse's office most of the time turned into a place to nap instead of taking a math test and a way to avoid fifth period because you didn’t want to get a headache hearing that teacher drag on and on and on.
12. The Group Chat
You know those classes that had a group chat specifically based on the class for the homework, to study or just to complain in. It was a bond between students that the teachers had no idea about. They always had cool names thanks to the new iMessage and you were always grateful when they saved you at 10 p.m. when you had forgotten to do the homework or study for a quiz.
13. The Acquaintances
These are the people that you're friends with in school but don’t hang out with outside of school. It's not that you wouldn't want to, it's just that that isn't what your friendship is. Sure you'll hang out with them in a group outside of school, but never alone. In school, however, they are that friendly face in the middle of the hallway that you can walk with to your next class.
14. The Awkward First Conversations
You vaguely remember how you became friends with people in high school. Often it's because of that one class that you can both name, but you can't remember that first conversation. I am going to miss those first conversations that were often awkward but so rewarding because they can bring about the greatest friendships.
15. The Final Walk Out the Doors
It's the walk of freedom. The walk out of the doors always meant class was over and it was finally time to go home and eat! But this time, it meant it was finally time to go home and move forward. It was time to leave high school forever and move on to bigger and better things. The most bittersweet moment. As the door closes behind you, you realize that it's shut. The memories are closed, your lessons here have all been learned and the door is no longer going to open for you.
But all of the other doors finally will, because the future is bright. Despite what we will miss, there is a world bigger and better waiting for us; it holds our career, friends, partners and more. These unusual things are what you will reminisce about at your 15th high school reunion, so be glad for them and try not to forget them. They may not hold as significant memories but that does not mean they are any less valued.
Lead Image Credit: Riley McCullough via Unsplash