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On Goodbyes

Woodblock illustration by Watanabe Seitei from his collection, Bijutsu Sekai. Image from rawpixel.

It’s hard not to feel bittersweet about this.

I thought it would be easier to write this one in advance, cause I have a history of tardy posting habits, but to be honest, I can’t. I tried anticipating what it might feel like to be enjoying the last day in a school that’s been home for a decade, and I failed.

The thing about goodbyes is that they rarely ever announce themselves beforehand. I mean, most of the time, you don’t consciously decide to end something, it just ends. And that’s why I feel grateful that all of us get to decide that this where we say our goodbyes. This is where we let go and make our own roads and this is where our journey, which so far we’ve gone on together, takes its own course. To steal from John Green, “no one says goodbye unless they want to see you again.”

Now, I know that we’re going to be seeing each other for a few more at least, and most of us will be going to the same school next year as well, I know that slowly, our connections might fade. Not all of them will stand the test of time. We’ll move to different cities, different countries, half way across the globe, our lives will begin to mean new things altogether. I’m not one to feel sentimental about change, but I know I’ll miss the memories and the people and all the things that made these years feel so good. The small things, especially. Walking to the canteen, standing by the lockers, the way the entire class bursts into laughter some times – these are the things that we’ll remember. And I’m grateful.

Anyways: goodbyes.

Endings are hard, and being asked to move on isn’t comfortable, but that’s where the beauty of life lies – in changes. I wish all the people I’ve spent these ten magical years with the best in life, and I hope, more than anything, that we keep these memories with us forever.

Cheers.

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The Things 10 Years of School Have Taught Me

Picture credits here.

Alright.

So there’s exactly ten days of school before it (unofficially) ends. List time. Here’s a list of the most important lessons I’ve learnt in the ten years I’ve been studying at my school:

Make stupid mistakes.

Just do it. Everyone’s too busy with their own lives to care. If it goes right, you get to brag about it. If it goes left, you have a story to tell. Always remember, you are not a sum of your oopsies. Learn to let em go.

You can change.

Who you are is subject to change, constantly. In 2019, I felt lost and confused about myself because I was nothing like my normal self. Once it dawns on you that you’re changing, that you’re shedding one skin and growing another, you get comfortable with the idea that you’re not who you thought you were. Other people change too. Don’t stop loving them if they do.

Be nice.

Do I need to say more? Just be good to people! Restore people’s faith in humanity, or something.

Have fun.

God forbid you have fun. Yo. You’ve got one life, alright? I need you to have a blast, for your sake. Treat yourself every once in a while. Hell, treat yourself every day if you like. I’m not a huge hedonist, but I’m still a hedonist. Stop feeling guilty about doing the things that you enjoy.

Take charge.

This, I learnt last week. To my high-school friends, it makes a big difference to be able to stand up and make decisions for ourselves, but sadly, we don’t learn this independence from an early age. If you’re in that stage where your parents are having honest discussions with you about life after 10th (or life after school, even), I encourage you to communicate your thoughts so that everyone gets to be on the same page. You are allowed to ask for what you want.

Live dangerously.

One thing I learnt: you can do whatever you want, as long as you don’t get caught. Now, I’m not encouraging any kind of harmful behavior, but by all means, live on the edge, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you find yourself doing something completely new and strange and exhilarating, take a minute to check on yourself, and if in your heart you’re ready, take the jump. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel up to the challenge, just take your time and everything will be amazing.