High School Nostalgia
Ah, high school.
Let's face it, high school can be a nightmare with the pressure of studies (must've been different if you barely studied). But for several reasons, most of us never forget high school for the better part of our lives, looking back on it as the best episode next to university life.
Despite the early morning schedule, school was our getaway to a wonderful new home without family drama and what not. Everyone wore the same uniform, had equal opportunities, and most importantly, friendships made were heartfelt.
Friendships are most likely the first thing your mind runs to when reminiscing high school – timeless memories, both silly and solemn, flooding in, like wiping out some letters to make funny new words when the teacher left the board un-erased; finding innovative excuses for homework not done; the forbidden thrill of eating tiffin or chewing gum during class; paperball fights; passing notes when the teacher made you sit separately; scribbling God-knows-what on desks and so on.
Then there are the billion other memories outside class: sharing the adrenaline rush during basketball practice/tournaments; blowing up that crystal experiment at chem lab; or just lounging in comfortable silence at the library.
As these seemingly insignificant moments passed by routinely, all of a sudden adult life happened. There was no longer a reason to see friends every day, share tiffin, and nag that straight A friend for treats. Even when you DO organise reunions, some can't make it because they've flown thousands of miles away for university. That's when it hits – how these moments ultimately make school unforgettably meaningful – and you can't help but feel poignant.
"It always hurts when you can't spend as much time with those people, whom you worked so hard with to create unbreakable bonds (unless you're one of the lucky few who went to university with the same pals)," says Fardeen Ahmed, a first year student at BUET. "You even grow attached to your school campus," he continues. "Doesn't matter whether it was small or huge, because that's the sacred place your memories were made in."
Every inch of it houses infinite memories: the tiled foyer where you skidded and fell flat in front of your crush, back in 8th grade; every CCTV covered entrance; playgrounds where endorphins were generated and groggy assemblies were conducted; staircases and balconies teeming with snippets of gossip and chatter; and the auditorium you first experienced stage fright in.
As you take the first steps into adulthood, i.e. university, you start to realise how different the world outside your school is. Sure, you had your share of disadvantages when you landed at the bottom quarter of roll calls back in 10th grade but university entails bigger consequences if your grade point average isn't exactly up to the mark.
Animesh Sarker, a second year university student, reflects, "If my life were a puzzle, Mastermind would be one big piece of it. Whenever I think about school days, I don't feel offended by the punishments I was given by teachers nor sad about the broken friendships, but a calming aura surrounds me like the first breeze of spring."
Soon, the not-so-fond memories of school swoop in, perhaps to provide the slightest consolation. The unrequited love(s), the pushing around by teachers and parents alike, the desperate struggle for popularity… all that over. But hey, you can finally rock that kamla mohawk as long as you want without the school in-charge shearing it off in front of the whole class (If your mom doesn't, that is). For the ones who've endured an all-girls/boys school all their teen lives, you no longer need a science fest to be blessed with *cough* interactions *cough* with the opposite gender.
Even so, these bittersweet flashes only help so much, and you finally have to bite the bullet and move on with university. Remember the million times you internally screamed to grow up? #Facepalm
Taposh Ghosh, a third year student at IBA, DU sums it up perfectly, "Four years of pre-school and kindergarten, five years of primary, followed by seven years of high school, then suddenly it's your graduation night. The happiest day of your life, or the saddest? I'll leave that up to you to decide. Either way, years down the lane, you'll look back at this night and mark it as the day your life changed forever. The cramped up classrooms, those doodled upon benches, the squeaky swings, that empty auditorium, all these will come rushing to you in a tidal wave of nostalgia. And on the toughest of days, these bits of memories will be your source of boundless joy."
Crystal's a foodaholic whose only life achievement has been involuntarily being the insanest one in the room. Yes, it's her real name. Send her dank memes, good music to soundscape to, and all things aesthetic at [email protected].