I always heard that your early 20’s are the greatest time of your life, and now that I’ve been experiencing them first hand, I have to agree. I love being my age, mostly because I’m constantly busy. I’m busy with work, I’m busy with friends, I’m busy with family, and I love it all. However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t miss the more simple, worry-free times of the not-so-distant past.
I find myself missing the days where there wasn’t a care in the world. While I definitely had my share of "serious problems," they all seem miniscule now that I know more about what it means to be an adult. So, even though I’m actually pretty embarrassed about the person I was just a few years ago, sometime I cannot help but miss what it was like to be in high school.
I shouldn’t generalize here, because some people are not as fortunate as others, but in high school I had zero responsibilities or worries. I never had to worry about money or paying for anything. The truth is, the only reason I got a part-time job was because I realized that everyone else around me had one and I didn't want to look like such a lazy human being compared to them.
Even with a part time job, it was a joke. I did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and never had to think twice about anything. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about anything? In high school you didn’t have to worry about money because you really didn’t need it. Now, we have to pay for things. Real things.
Still Thinking Drinking Was Cool
I wasn't even a high school freshmen when I had my first drink outside of my home with my friends. I was in the seventh grade (sorry mom!), which yes, is absolutely horrible when you look back on it now. My friends and I did not start attending or hosting parties regularly until we were in our sophomore year of high school and I could honestly say those were some of the best days of my life.
We thought we were so cool and we had so much fun. I still go out drinking with some of those same exact friends to this day, and while sometimes it’s the time of our lives, the majority of these outings are nowhere near as fun as they used to be. We wake up with overdraft charges on our cards from buying everyone alcohol, we go overboard in terms of consumption, and we sometimes have to force ourselves to get up and get ready to go out since we’re so tired after a long work week.
We don't go out and drink to be cool or make an impression on our peers, we just do it because that’s what we’re supposed to be doing at this age. When I was in high school and I received a text message that there was going to be a party that night, I got SO excited. I would plan what I was going to wear hours in advance (it would always be jeans and some kind of t-shirt, why did I stress so much?), bring my five dollars, get bombed off five beers and have a blast. Sneaking past your parents was the best part. It’s exhilarating to get away with something, isn’t it?
I was attentive in high school. I was well read on world news and had a general idea of what was going on, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t naïve. I was naïve, like everyone is at that age. Most of the time when you are interacting with a typical naive high school kid, you’ll roll your eyes and bless their heart with your sarcastic remarks.
I miss being ‘high school’ naïve. I miss not knowing how hard the world actually is, thinking you’re going to marry your high school boyfriend, believing that your friends will stay your friends forever, and thinking that attending college and then getting a job will be your destined life path.
These thoughts sure felt good, didn't they? What worries did you possibly have about the future when you were a junior in high school? Nothing. All you needed to worry about was what mom was making for dinner after you got out of practice.
Everything Excited You
Everything was exciting in high school. During high school is when most teenagers have the majority of their firsts. How exciting is doing something for the first time? It’s so cool, regardless of what it is. Getting into college was one of the most exhilarating feelings and now, if I were to apply to grad school I’d just be like, “whatever”.
Yes, everyone tried to act like they didn’t get excited or think something was ten times cooler than it actually was when they were young. Take driving for instance. The feeling of elation I had when I got my license was something I’ve never felt before, and now I hardly feel anything whenever I have to drive somewhere.
I would drive for hours when I first got my license. I would drive to all of my friend’s houses for no reason and frequent the local fast food restaurants because I had the metabolism of an eight year old and didn’t gain an ounce whenever I ate anything, which is definitely another thing I miss about being young as well. I wish I got half as excited over driving down the street as I did when I was 17. The world would be a much better place if everyone took everything they did with that much enthusiasm.
As soon as High School ended, the fun of house parties ended with it as well. There was nothing more exciting than going to someone's house party when their parents were away and getting completely wasted with your closest friends. Drinking the finest Svedka mixed with cranberry juice and thinking smoking weed in the bathroom is the coolest thing to get away with provided you with the strange combination of feeling rebellious yet high class at the same time. The good old fun that entailed within a rager at someones house was way more fun than any artificial night club. Who could forget that one person that always ends up throwing up and becoming a slut after 2 drinks.
Getting Away With Everything
In high school if I didn’t do my homework, barely showed up to class, or was a complete jackass to my teachers, I still was able to maintain good grades and be considered a good person. Now, if we were to behave that way, we’d fail out of college and be considered a child. That's just the reason no one took what we said or did seriously in high school, because we were still children, despite how grown up our actions might have seemed to us. A missed homework, cut class, or snotty remark to a teacher had nothing to do with the kind of person we would become in a few years.
As much as I enjoy being mature and responsible, there are some days when you just want to give zero fucks and do nothing and say whatever you want. Now that we're older and more aware of who we want to be, we judge ourselves more harshly based on what we do or say. We're equals to any adults we encounter, so if we offend them in anyway we won't be punished like children. They'll come down on us for being bad people, not typical, immature kids.
High school was a joy ride that I will never regret taking. In fact, it was so fun and carefree that it almost feels like it was a vacation that I got to take before the act of actually growing up slapped me in the face. Even though all the disregard and partying seemed like a kind of excitement we'll never feel again, it's safe to say that there is a new kind of thrill you get out of knowing you have worth and that everything you do matters.
Being an adult means wanting to be responsible and proud of yourself from the day to day actions that will truly have an impact on your life. While making big leaps in a social scene may grant a lot of fulfillment at the time, it cannot compare to making the big leaps that will determine your future, the one's that will make you understand what it truly means to be free and alive.
Ally | Elite.
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