Originally posted on 7th Dec
I think in one year, many things changed. We all grew up, we graduated from our childish selves to young adults with visions, dreams, ambitions, relationships we strive to maintain, people we care about more, and a new perspective of the world, relative to each individual.
In one year we learnt about pain. Pain when things were taken away, when we couldn’t do things we thought we were capable of doing, pain when the relationships and friendships we strove so hard to maintain were overcome by the floods of circumstances. Pain became a teacher, and a lesson, and in time we learnt how best to deal with it. Many of us used to have our old ways, we screamed in frustration, sobbed and sat there. When we grew up we learnt to channel this pain into something more profitable, something useful, like helping others who we saw in this pain, like pursuing new passions that took our mind off pain. It wasn’t easy but like everyone before us, we moved on. The past would always be there, but we learnt to deal with it.
In this time we learnt to treasure people around us. We saw the shortlived nature of life and how two/three years of Junior College life flashed before our eyes and went away. The people we shared the best moments with in studying, cheerleading, crying, overseas trips, work attachments, CCA… These people were to split from us in no time. Two years that once seemed an eternity had all boiled down to the exams and then just as soon as it had started, it ended. We learnt to hold on to our friends tightly. However we learnt to let go of negative influences too. No matter how painful it seemed at first, we learnt to drop toxic relationships. Just as making friends was an important part of life, so was letting go.
We learnt too, that hard work can pay off, but it also can backfire. We tried, to work but some of us gave up along the way when we lost the reasons and motivations for it. We trudged on, tired and weary… But then some of us found the light. We saw a new way into the issue, some of us never did, (and I still hate math), but regardless, the journey taught us discipline and that hard work would pay off. For those of us that worked so hard but never got anywhere we realised we needed to humble ourselves and put our ego down and ask for help, to ask for a different solution. Studies taught us humility too, that there would always be someone better, that help was always there and if we wanted it, all we needed to do was ask.
In one year we learnt that it wasn’t the institution that shaped us. It was what we made of it. It wasn’t the friends and teachers that changed us, it was what we wanted to change in ourselves based on their influences. For some of us the journey might have been longer, but the lessons were presented to us, whether we wanted to learn them was ultimately up to us.
In that sense we can never blame the institution. One could say it would’ve been an exponential result, meaning a good school would produce better students. But many of us were put into whatever school we were put in and many of us changed for the better as well.
As Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society told his class, it is our job to Seize the day. Time is short and I guess, what we become is eventually our choice.