At first I was going to attribute my lack of feeling to how surreal it is to finally be out of high school. I feel like I’m on holiday (which… is bad as I should be working towards my final exams). I haven’t thought much about loss, and maybe it’s because I’d already disconnected a while ago. Set my eyes forward, bags packed and ready.
I don’t yearn for another day in the quads occupied by kids playing downball, partitioning chair space with a friend (like, I’ll take the arm-rest this time, you take the seat) in the Senior School Center, or waiting in line for Teriyaki Chicken Rice in the pouring rain (ain’t nothing gonna stop us). I wouldn’t trade all my tomorrow’s for a gossip session during lunch to catch up on weekend festivities, or last-minute revision with coffee and a panicky friend. But I regard the memories with something like respect. I don’t and won’t discredit what the school and the people I’ve grown up with have done for me. I can’t be thankful enough for the people (even the ones I won’t miss) who made my school experience what it was, and more than that, for forming the pillars of my adolescence- for giving me stability. Somehow, I’ve gone from being completely naive and terrified of algebra, to being a little more critical, a little more skeptical (perhaps even cynical) and grudgingly accepting of mathematics. From annoying teachers to wasted supervision lessons, the incredibly frustrating moments are what I can look back on with a certain fondness.
At first, I wondered why I was immune to it all: the bawling, the sentimental posts that keep popping up left and right. People are coming to the realization that I’ve had ever since summer. Those who love me and matter to me will stay in my life; we’ll keep in touch. I have confidence in my friendships as of now. Those who once loved me and who I once loved will be left in the past. Some people from the first category will transition into the second. I’ve acknowledged this and I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve met some truly amazing people that I’d like to keep for as long as I can and I’ve been blessed with moments of elation, inspiration, and connection. But what once would have shattered me no longer fazes me. I have learned to let go.
So, on graduation day, I smiled gleefully towards the sea of faces in the assembly hall, sporting a quality hangover and bedraggled hair, feeling as though I had just run a marathon. As we sang ‘Keep Holding On’, I was surrounded by pink, tear-streaked faces and a flurry of hands rushing to cover them. I just kept on smiling, happy to be at the end with everyone, this class of 2014 that I belong to. Happy it’s a beginning in disguise. I smiled as if to say sayonara suckaas! I’m outta here, and it’s been an awesome ride. Let the end credits roll, the cheesy trumpets swell, and finally, the velvety curtains drop with a heavy sigh. I’m on the edge of my seat for the next big thing.