Society is seemingly obsessed with high school, as evidenced by the never-ending popularity of Hollywood movies and television shows that portray high school. When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to be done and be in the 'real world' away from all of the petty drama that came along with being in school. I never understood this obsession with making high school seem so great since I didn't really think it was great at the time. But now looking back almost 6 years out, I realize why people like to idealize this time so much.
It is a time of hope, where you are old enough to finally start enjoying learning and you get to experience this more than you had previously. You have your whole career and life ahead of you, and it seems like there are endless possibilities for it. Sure there are decisions to make about college or what you will do afterward, but this excitement about having the world at the tips of your fingers is what I truly miss about high school.
I miss not having the extra worries of bills or having to start a career, with my only focus being on doing well in school. I miss having the extra time for friends, and the ability to be in extra-curricular groups like band and choir easily without having to seek them out, let alone make extra time for these kinds of activities without sacrificing time working.
I do not wish to go back to high school, but I do miss that sense of hope. Now that I am almost done with graduate school, I feel sad that if I continue with school, it will be challenging and be more for a job, rather than for the love of learning. I won't get a chance to go back to undergrad and just take an elective course that sounds interesting.
Although you can always go back to school and learning is a lifelong process, that feeling of endless possibilities begins to fade as you get older, and feel more stuck with the degrees you chose and the career path you are on. That unattached feeling of having a future that is still unwritten is something that you can never totally get back and is the one single thing that I miss about high school.