High school years are the best years of your life

  • #1
944
394
Does anyone actually believe this statement? I had a few well meaning, though severely misguided, people try to tell me this back when I was in high school. How can it be better? No bills? So what? Do people just forget what it was like to actually be in high school (or worse, did they peak in high school)?

Having been a science-loving student in a D-ranked school with low funding and teachers who didn't care and often taught wrong information (NO, THE NORMAL FORCE DOES NOT POINT INTO THE SURFACE), I am absolutely amazed and the wealth of knowledge I have access to in my university. Combine that with having more freedom to do what I want than ever before, how can anyone believe this statement? Even taking into account students who didn't care about learning and didn't go to college. Certainly they should prefer the freedom of being an adult, as opposed to high school, where you're expected to act like an adult while having none of the freedoms of one.

Speaking of freedoms, I can now buy tacos at 3:00 am just because I'm hungry. If that isn't better than high school, nothing is.

Thoughts?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
21,525
8,571
Yes, some people really did peak in high school.
 
  • Like
Likes Tosh5457, Astronuc and Evo
  • #3
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2021 Award
17,717
9,642
Yes, some people really did peak in high school.
As pathetic as that is, I have to agree. I just hope it isn't too many. I think of it as mostly being guys who were successful jocks in high school and then went on to not amount to much but it's probably a fair number in addition to that.
 
  • Like
Likes Evo and Bystander
  • #4
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,352
1,431
You, Phinds, and Russ are being entirely too charitable and hopeful in your demographic estimates.
 
  • #5
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2021 Award
17,717
9,642
You, Phinds, and Russ are being entirely too charitable and hopeful in your demographic estimates.
Sigh ... you are probably right.
 
  • #6
85
166
As far as the OP, I questioned my fathers wisdom in telling me that until I was about 50 years old. I attended an exceptional high school with exceptional teachers. My small senior class of only fifty students turned out four engineers. two nurses, and a self made millionaire who started his own chemical supply business without ever attending college. Many others became successful farmers and teachers.

It wasn't a small private school it was a small town school. Kids didn't wander around searching for who they were. They knew who they were and where they were going.

That was in the other America, the one that existed in the past and then slowly decayed into a political morass that engulfed the school system.
 
  • #7
85
166
Yes, some people really did peak in high school.

A certain number always have and they still do. In the past they could still earn a good living. That was back in the day when we had skilled tradesmen and master craftsmen. But essentially that has little or nothing to do with the OP.
 
  • #8
QuantumCurt
Education Advisor
726
166
I've always heard the "high school is the best years of your life" line, and I have never agreed with it. Not even when I was in high school. I was something of a social outcast in high school. I had a few close friends, but I was never exactly a social butterfly. My post-high school years have been far better than my high school years. I think this phrase is a lot more applicable to the jocks that spend their life reminiscing about going to state and scoring the winning touchdown, and sleeping with half the cheerleading squad. Many of the kids that were the jocks in my high school class are today working fairly menial factory or construction jobs, working as car salesmen, working for the city etc. Many of them have never really gotten out of the hometown. They hang out at the bars on the weekend with their old high school buddies and talk about "those glory days" when they went to state and such.

I'm only 28 now, so my class is still pretty young. But I imagine a lot of these "glory day reminiscers" will still be doing the same things 20-30 years from now.
 
  • #9
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,798
1,670
Speaking of freedoms, I can now buy tacos at 3:00 am just because I'm hungry. If that isn't better than high school, nothing is.

I could buy tacos at 3:00 a.m. when I was in high school. IDK, is that illegal or something where you live?

When I turned 18 in HS, you could legally buy a drink and get a pack of smokes without proving you were 27 or whatever. And the pack didn't cost $15 or whatever they charge now. Heck, you could buy a whole carton of smokes for less than $6. How's that for 'the best years of your life'?
 
  • #10
15
5
I had more free time in high school and freshman year of college.

When college really started going after 1st year, my free time declined a lot. It made me miss
all the time I had in high school to just read whatever I was interested in.

Best years? I hope not...but better than most of college? Oh yeah...Nothing enjoyable about constant 100 hour weeks (as was the case in much of my college experience).
 
Last edited:
  • #11
730
201
I sincerely hope that is not true.
Because I'm currently in my final months of HS, and it's been a horrible time.
 
  • #12
491
189
It certainly has it good things.
I cruised through HS.
Even my bachelors wasn't too bad now I can compare it to the effort I have to put in now.
Although I am certain a lot of people have it a lot harder than me.
The hardest part is starting to do my work, i.e. scheduling and sticking too it.

Conclusion for me:
Enjoy your free time in HS.
Enjoy pursuing your passion/interest in college. Even if that means "sacrificing" some of your time (not really a sacrifice when get past the introductory courses IMO)
 
  • #13
590
48
I could buy tacos at 3:00 a.m. when I was in high school. IDK, is that illegal or something where you live?
Well, this varies from person to person, but when I was a teenager, I had no money and no car. Other kids were more privileged.
 
  • #14
Lisa!
Gold Member
620
96
I used to be happier during high school because I was kinda ignorant and naive!:biggrin:
 
  • #15
1,252
426
It requires a bit more leg work to pick up on chicks. Before I just had to make them laugh. Now I have to make them laugh and buy them a burger.
 
  • #16
WannabeNewton
Science Advisor
5,815
544
High school was dope. College is dope. Grad school is probably going to be dope. And after that, well...
 
  • #17
Choppy
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
4,763
2,006
These days it's becoming a lot more socially acceptable to admit that high school years were full of awkwardness, angst and less-than-ideal decisions. And, I think that people are also generally realizing that statements such as "high school/college years are the best years of your life" inherently end up disappointing more people than they inspire.

In defence of such statements though I might offer another perspective. Once you get a little bit older, your younger years can blur together a little bit. Issues that seemed like such a big deal at the time are no longer half as upsetting. Partly this is because as a result of those negative experiences you grow and learn. Partly, this is because you have a bigger picture perspective. Partly it's also because you forget about freedoms that you didn't have.

As you get older too, you start to loose freedoms in a different way. To build on the case in point, sure I could go out and buy tacos at 3:00 am if I wanted to, but...
  1. I have to wake up at 6:30 to make it into work on time tomorrow. Why the hell would I want to be awake at 3:00 am?
  2. If I ate fast food tacos at 3:00 am, I know I won't fall asleep quickly afterwards either.
  3. I lost 40 lbs last year by avoiding such foods. A fast food craving isn't going to help keep that off.
  4. My wife would want to know what I was doing at 3:00 am? Where was I? Why do I smell like Taco Bell?
  5. All of this assumes that my wife is willing to stay home with the kids while I venture out to get my tacos. She has the right to got out for a 3:00 am pita if she wants and who will watch the kids?
  6. I suppose we could take the kids with us... scratch that. Anyone who's ever had a four and a three year old will know how mind-numbingly insane that would be.
  7. Even if I somehow did manage to get out, I'd be that creepy old guy hanging out at the taco place at 3:00 am.
Man, when I was in high school all I had to worry about was digging under the couch of loose change and how far of a bike ride it was.
 
  • #18
159
203
I had good days in high school where I had my first romantic love ever.
It's like we just move up a spiral ladder when first beautiful days keep lingering on and good memories between us seem to last forever.
 
  • #19
Garth
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,577
107
"These are the best years of your life" was said to me by several adults when I was in High School.

As it was said by more than one person I thought it actually had to be true.

It made me really depressed.
 
  • #20
223
54
...freedoms...
I never had freedom during my high school time. I was lost and almost friendless. How sad! I never want to think about those bad days in my life.
 
  • #21
RonL
Gold Member
1,104
216
Based on TV options, I think there might be a majority peak, just a little before high school. :(
 
  • #22
223
54
Based on TV options, I think there might be a majority peak, just a little before high school. :(
Come on, sit down and think deeper, there may be more than just that.
 
  • #23
MarneMath
Education Advisor
549
198
I would never consider high school the "best time of my life." It was essentially one of my most free times though. It was socially acceptable for me to spend hours in the gym, play sports, and eat a magic mushroom. Ok, maybe not the magic mushroom part. I had a lot of fun, made great friends, many of whom I am still friends with, and I have great memories. However, I feel that my life, in many ways, was incomplete until I met my wife and she flushed her birth control down the toilet causing me to meet my daughter.

Also, I don't think people focusing on the glory days has so much to do with that is where they peaked. I think people just have a tendency to look at the past and remember it a bit more fondly than the present. When I run into old football buddies, we talk about those days because it's fun to remember and talk about. When I run into old Army buddies, we talk about those days. It just want people do.

Anyway, point being is that the older you get the more responsibility you have. Some people miss the days when you could probably do anything and had an unforeseen future. For me personally, college was one of the worse experiences. Rising a baby/toddler, married, paying a mortgage and working two jobs. Life sucked.
 
  • #24
1,187
225
Time in a high school was fine and great for me. I have more nice than bad memories from that part of my life. And time in elementary school was even better. University wasn't so much fun. The best days of life are yet to come I hope. What peaks are you talking about: peak of happiness or what?
 
  • #25
694
114
I'm currently in high school and I'm not even remotely satisfied with how things go around here. I'm 15 and I'm in my senior year(US equivalent) and I top my class all the time, but I just feel it's because I'm not in the company of very smart individuals. I took a localised test and ranked 3rd in the city but still feel pathetic about it. Is this normal?
 
  • #26
RonL
Gold Member
1,104
216
I'm currently in high school and I'm not even remotely satisfied with how things go around here. I'm 15 and I'm in my senior year(US equivalent) and I top my class all the time, but I just feel it's because I'm not in the company of very smart individuals. I took a localised test and ranked 3rd in the city but still feel pathetic about it. Is this normal?
You sound like a gifted person :), in my opinion there is a vast difference between intelligence and smart, learn and understand the difference, then use intelligence to find the happiness of living with and among the not so smart people (which you might find by far the majority):)
 
  • #27
694
114
@Ron You mentioned that I could be gifted. I've tried exploring that possibility without any convincing result. I mean I can't solve a Rubik's Cube in 30 seconds, nor can I integrate composite inverse trignometric functions by u substitution mentally. If I were compared to national toppers, I'm sure I'd come way down the ladder. Yet at the same time I feel there could be individuals who make similar conparisons with me. I'm confused - where do I stand in the hierarchy? Low, mid or high?
 
  • #28
1,187
225
I took a localised test and ranked 3rd in the city
What kind of test is that? Just being curious
I mean I can't solve a Rubik's Cube in 30 seconds, nor can I integrate composite inverse trignometric functions by u substitution mentally.
You don't have to be especially smart to excel in such things
 
  • Like
Likes RonL
  • #29
MarneMath
Education Advisor
549
198
I think it's normal for people your age to compare yourself to others. My advice, stop it. I knew a guy while I was in the Army who could solve a Rubik cube in 30 seconds, but that's because he memorized the process. You are probably right individual with plenty of potential. The only way to achieve your potential is to shut out the noise and just focus on what you want to do. You'll find that a combination of hard work, reasonable intelligence, and social skills will carry you a lot further in life than simply being the best or smartest.
 
  • Like
Likes lisab and RonL
  • #30
RonL
Gold Member
1,104
216
@Ron You mentioned that I could be gifted. I've tried exploring that possibility without any convincing result. I mean I can't solve a Rubik's Cube in 30 seconds, nor can I integrate composite inverse trignometric functions by u substitution mentally. If I were compared to national toppers, I'm sure I'd come way down the ladder. Yet at the same time I feel there could be individuals who make similar conparisons with me. I'm confused - where do I stand in the hierarchy? Low, mid or high?
You have here at PF perhaps a thousand or more people that can offer extreme wisdom that can help you find the answers to how you might proceed in making decisions for your future, take advantage of this and you can make the most of your future. I found late in life that the things I most desired to know, were in fact the very things that I shunned in my younger years, don't make that mistake.
 
  • Like
Likes lisab
  • #31
694
114
@zoki85 I don't really remember, I think it was some Achievers test, some 30-40 thousand students participated. I didn't quite believe them when they rang me up to tell me I got the 3rd position.
With some of the common sense mistakes I make, people often think I'm a dumb kid at first. That's how it was when high school started and it was bothering that I was treated like someone really unintelligent. After I got an A+ in nearly every test for the first semester, they started calling me a nerd. Had to play my electric guitar at the school concert to make them quiet.
Everyone's always judging you, no matter how good or bad you are. In fact, I feel it's worse at the top - you ask one silly question and all of them are onto you. "Mate how could you ask that?" or "Is the genius starting to get out of touch?"
 
  • #32
1,187
225
@zoki85 I don't really remember, I think it was some Achievers test, some 30-40 thousand students participated. I didn't quite believe them when they rang me up to tell me I got the 3rd position.
Was it in form of SAT (but adjusted for younger age) or something different?
 
  • #33
694
114
@zoki85 Nope, they were full throttle structured questions asking about mid-level calculus(basic anti derivatives and integrals), some logarithms, trigonometry, thermodynamics, wave diffraction theories, quantum electronic configurations, and some organic Chem with alcohols and carbonyl groups. The portion looks kind of outrageous for a 10th grader, but when I compare it with questions of the same topics that you encounter in higher grades, the difficulty level was a little toned down.
 
  • #34
1,187
225
@zoki85 Nope, they were full throttle structured questions asking about mid-level calculus(basic anti derivatives and integrals), some logarithms, trigonometry, thermodynamics, wave diffraction theories, quantum electronic configurations, and some organic Chem with alcohols and carbonyl groups. The portion looks kind of outrageous for a 10th grader, but when I compare it with questions of the same topics that you encounter in higher grades, the difficulty level was a little toned down.
Well, test with calculus questions for 10th graders sounds really weird to me. For example, I've started to learn fundamentals of calculus in 12th grade. I know school systems differ from country to country but still...
 
  • #35
694
114
Wait, so will my Freshman year be a breeze for me?
 

Related Threads on High school years are the best years of your life

  • Last Post
Replies
26
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
38
Views
6K
Replies
40
Views
6K
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
12K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
Top