I miss my life 4 years ago

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    I miss my life 4 years ago (when I was a freshman in high school). Now, I am a freshman in college. It is weird… college is supposed to be better than high school. But I can’t help feeling nostalgia. I have missed my freshman year for 2 years now. This isn’t the first time I’ve looked back at a time in my life and wished I could go back. In 7th and 8th grade, I wished I could go back to 6th grade. It’s weird. I don’t know how to solve this problem. All I know is I look back at my freshman year of high school feeling like I was the happiest/best version of me back then. I miss the friends that I had then. I miss that I was gaining self confidence then. I can’t even explain it… I just miss my old life. It was like I was living in the present. I was taking chances. I was growing.

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Katie.

    When it comes to inner experiences and memory time is an illusion (and a trickster). Here the past, present and future exist together, are part of each other, and happen at the same time.

    This nostalgia, this longing for yesterday, longing for home isn’t happening in the past its occurring now, in the present. The past that you are remembering, this act of remembering is now.  You aren’t stuck in the past you are suck in the now.

    The problem is memory. It is likely that this memory you labelled “four years ago” has been idealized. Meanings and purposes attached that only exist in hind sight and can and will change in the next remembering.

    The feeling of nostalgia can become a trap or a door. A trap if you stay stuck in the illusion, becoming that old angry guy always talking about how good things used to be. Or a door, a reminder to your sense of self that the Self seeks to find and return to its authentic self. That the path you are on is not who you are, it’s a path. A path that will change and lead you places you have yet to dream of.

    In the words of T.S Eliot – “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot

    You see we are always seeking home, longing for home… even as we have a problem recognizing it as home, but that two is part of the path. Don’t get stuck in the illusion of past memory. Take what you learned, pick a direction and see what lies over the next hill. You will find your way home… your already there.


    Aw man. I totally understand this feeling. I think most people do. But it sounds like you’re a bit more like me than it appears many others are; in that this feeling can be really heavy at times.

    The memories of our past always seem so great. Times when we didn’t have XYZ on our plates. Times when we first met so-and-so. That time when I shoved 2 hamburgers into my face hole and made my friend laugh until “omg! Milkshake is coming out of your nose!”

    Now? Now I’ve got too much XYZ, and spend way less time on things that make me happy. So-and-so moved and we don’t talk as much. And at 35, gluttony plus hamburgers is not only cause for stares from fellow patrons, it’s actually a real health concern.

    Either way, there are a few realizations that will help, some of which you already know.

    You mention that you’ve felt this before, for a time even before. Naturally, you’ll start to see that this is a feeling that’s gonna stick with you on some level. It’s never gone away from me, and I think anyone with elders in their lives will tell you that the phrase “in my day” is thrown around like Thor’s hammer.

    So, don’t try to fight that feeling. You’ll be fighting nature, and she is REALLY good. She wins like… All the time. Instead, try learn to enjoy the thoughts of your past and use them as a nice mental resting place.

    First, realize why you always have that feeling. We as beings, human have a tendency to glamorize the past. We always remember those positive things, giving them far more weight than the adversities. That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard just after the end a toxic relationship when you know it’s for the best. “but duuuude. That time when we drove across state lines singing Journey songs made her perfect!”

    It helps to remember that those times had their share of adversities too. That duet? Let’s not forget she had the voice of a sea lion. And most of the trip was filled to the brim with silence and resentment because SOMEBODY ate the last bag of chips and didn’t share.

    You mention high school. Omg. It was great for me too. I was super fun to be around, so people loved me. And I was always smart, so school was a breeze.

    But, remember that time that super mean girl said something horrible in the cafeteria and everyone heard it? Or that pressure to ace that test? They seem trivial now, but at the time, weren’t those things less than awesome?

    You also mention that you felt like college was supposed to feel a certain way. Like, it’s supposed to be the best!

    2 things.

    1. I know it can be a bit tricky, but you gotta manage that thought process. We have ideas and plans about how life is supposed to go. How things are supposed to be. But life doesn’t really have a “supposed to.” It’s wildly different for every single one of us. College is great for a lot of people. It’s horrible for others. A lot don’t even go.

    2. This really IS the greatest time in your life. Not the college part, necessarily. Just…the now. Now really is the coolest time to be alive. You have a bunch of great memories (you just shared some), and you’ve got sooooo much time ahead of you. That’s super exciting!

    I promise, a time is going to come and you’ll be all like “Ugh! College was great! I wish it was then, now…” This becomes especially present when you’re changing your daughter’s diaper, and your wife is saying “hold it over her until your ready or she’ll pee on you.” But you don’t listen cus you know what you’re doing. You got this. And then, 5 minutes later, you’re changing your shirt and your wife is lamenting you with “I told you so’s” Ahhh… College…

    A lot of life is your frame of mind as you approach it. The narrative you write for yourself as you move along. Think life is awesome? It is. Think life sucks? It does.

    Meditation really really helps. Staying present has changed my world in so many ways, ways that have impacted me unimaginably.

    Remembering adversity can also put things into perspective.

    But all that is sorta the general response to the feelings you have. Read it and think on it (cus these are gems I’m giving ya!). But let’s talk about you specifically.

    Maybe take some time, and try to really articulate, in detail, why you feel so much affinity for your past. Was there someone in your life, but no longer? Is it the pressures of your new life? Are those hamburgers starting to catch up? Ugh, why do they do that?

    Maybe write that stuff down. And when the picture is nice and clear, try to find ways to bring those aspects back to life in your world. Don’t try to recreate the life. Chasing ghosts feels good for some reason, but it isn’t because you ever get to catch them.

    Missing someone? Reach out. College pressures getting heavy? Work on dealing with those pressures systematically. And Fine! We’ll switch to turkey burgers! But I’m not happy about it!

    OK so I just laid down like a bazillion words, and if I don’t get this presentation done my boss is gonna give birth to a blue whale.

    Let me know how things are going.



    I’ll be honest, I used to be in your shoes two years ago as a college freshman reminiscing about high school and thinking it was some of the best years of my life due to gaining self confidence, getting friends that I consider family, and getting over my bad past. However, what made me enjoy college a lot more was making new friends at college and getting myself involved in different clubs. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to be your friend if you are a good and positive person. I’m not going to lie, it was a tough first semester as a freshman but befriending a few people in my dorm hall made things easier. Also, getting involved in various clubs led me to one of my closest friends in college who is currently my roommate right now as a junior in college!

    All of the stuff that Jozizo said is quite true. If you’re anxious, try talking to your parents back home regarding this weird feeling you’re having and if your missing your friends from high school, call them up on the phone or shoot them a text. I’ll be honest, this adjustment into college will be an experience that will give you growth as you’ll be away from home and be by yourself and you’ll gain responsibility & work ethic. Also, with taking chances? You’re taking chances and making choices from the moment you’re waking up in the morning to the time you crash in bed! Okay, this seems like one heck of a rant to you but please let know how things are going!

    Take care now!


    I’ve always fallen into this psychological trap.  Its called “Romanticizing the Past” and you can google it to find out more info.  I look back at any period of my past, think it was wonderful, and wish I could go back to that time.  I don’t look at it objectively.  I forget that there were many periods of my past where I was very unhappy.  So why would I want to go back to an unhappy period?    I just look at all of my past as wonderful and wish I was back there again.  I’m 65 and I’ve never been able to break this mental cycle.  Its left me with a sense of sadness and never allowed me to enjoy the present.


    Hi Katie

    You may find the following book helpful: ‘When the past is present’ by david richo

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