Emotional Attachment with School Memories at Adult Age

Emotional Attachment with School Memories at Adult Age

a girl remembering her school life

Many of us find ourselves reminiscing over small moments of our past school life. School memories evoke a sense of nostalgia when life is much simpler. Recall how you used to spend those hours on the last bench, sneaking into your lunchbox, and sharing the juiciest gossip with your friends. In this article, let’s dive into what it is about school that seems so meaningful and memorable. How does it stay with us at the core level?

Why am I getting so many flashbacks of school days?

Researchers who have studied memory identified something called “the reminiscence bump” which shows that our strongest memories come from events that happened to us between 10 to 30 years.

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As a child, you’ve spent a significant amount of the day in school. You have spent a large amount of time with friends, teachers, and classmates. The amount of core memories you have with them is innumerable. 12 years of school life where you have experienced your firsts of everything. The first time you were appreciated by a teacher for your hard work. The first time you bonded with a friend at a deep level and the first time you got your period. School is a home of the “first” memories. When you become an adult, you may face some times when you have to recall the last time you had to deal with a similar setback in life. For example, you recently had a tough breakup. You recall, how I dealt with this earlier. Suddenly, you recall many moments of the past. You don’t just remember your ex from school, but things that were happening in school. A core memory gets unlocked.

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High school bonds and heart-rushing memories

Many heart-rushing memories such as the unrequited romantic crushes, the embarrassing events, the desperate struggle to become ‘popular’, the sexual awakening, and mischievous pranks are recalled. With friends, you would share your deepest, darkest secrets, fantasies, and feelings. Friends become your soul mates. The person you would spend your entire day laughing around, dealing with problems, helping each other out at hard times. They provide a non-judgmental space, where you are able to non-hesitantly share your feelings. As an adult, there may be times when you would miss the comfort of going up to a friend, without hesitation.

School as an escape:

For some, school could have been an escape from their home. Children who have been through emotionally draining lives at home, find comfort in their school life. They confide in the comfort of their friends, creating these happy memories with them. These memories stay with us for a long time, because they become meaningful. These strong emotions elicit strong memories, especially during a time when you are longing for it.

Let’s say Anisha has joined a new office. She starts working and in between getts flashbacks of moments she shared with her friends. Adjusting to a new environment requires building new relationships, which does take time. During these moments of stress of uncertainty, she recalls her times with her school friends. The recall evokes a sense of nostalgia, which she confides in to feel a sense of familiarity and instant connection.

Also Read: Friendships for life

School and Emotions

High school is a transitional phase of life. It covers the most impactful developmental transitions in life. There is a lot that is going on around with life in terms of academic achievements, liking opposite genders, forming your identity, etc. During these transitional periods of change, having friends that hold your back and make you feel safer elicit these positive memories. Emotions play a big role in these significant life events. Figuring out our skills, attractiveness, and social status.


The learning processes and skills you have acquired during your school times hold a certain amount of value. They contribute to your long-term memory. When you grow up to start working in your career, you are likely to reminisce about those memories because the emotions are very familiar. Positive emotions that are involved in learning include interest, curiosity, wonder, passion, creativity, engagement, and joy. The involvement of these emotions creates positive experiences. So, it is likely that you are going to wander around thinking, how did I possibly remember this? Positive psychology suggests that people are likely to recall experiences that they perceive as positive. They hold a significant value in our long-term memory.

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