alumnus, n.

alumnus |əˈlʌmnəs|

It was really hard to fall asleep last night. I tossed and turned over and again in bed because I was so excited about today. Excited, though? It was more of a giddy feeling? It’s very odd to finally graduate from a place I spent twelve years growing up in. It’s so weird to finally have my status changed into “alumnus”. I’ve finally outgrown the large school I used to call “home”.

I was pretty much raised there, from having my noggin filled up to having my character shaped. The teachers there are inspiring, the friends are supportive, the environment is friendly, the trees are homey, the lab assistants are funny.

With the steps I take away from the school halls comes the school pride and trust, my parents’ dreams and expectations, my teachers’ sacrifice and belief. The steps will not be light, but they are steps that will be made with confidence. From a nobody to going to the #1 university in Asia—I owe the school that much.

The only thing that bugs me about this graduation is that the most inspiring teacher I know did not attend. If anyone were to point out my future, she was the one who led me to point it out to myself. All she had to do was stand in front of the classroom and share her stories, and I was immediately drawn in. Nobody really knows what they want to do in high school, but that teacher patiently lighted up the candles to illuminate my path into a future I dream of. Her guidance is priceless, and so I wanted her to see me take my first few steps outside of school to fight for her dream that is now mine to fight for. I’m really sad that she wasn’t there to be there on a milestone that is very dear to me. The saddest part is, I don’t think she’ll want to see me go. This was the last shot, the last chance for me to say thank you. And it didn’t happen.

What was very uplifting, though, was to see a dear teacher stop by with a graduation gift in her hand! It was such a simple gesture, but I was deeply touched by it. Her action symbolizes, for me, a friendship that wasn’t as close during the school years that blossomed during the farewell day. The day we finalized our separation, we finally exchanged phone numbers and got to talk for more than just a short conversation. It was during this afternoon too that I saw a few friends I didn’t talk to much at school but talk to more frequently now due to the fact that we’re heading towards the same university together. After taking pictures together, we made mental notes to stay in touch and to contact each other in order to prepare ourselves for our departure this fall.

There’s just something about a hello that happens after a goodbye that gives you a brand new sense of freedom, life and adventure that isn’t like any other. The fresh air just tingles your senses, as you know that life is right there, waiting for you to explore every inch of it.

Having the closest people there to cheer you on and support you is also a wonderful feeling. Before leaving the school, I have expressed my gratitude to every single teacher who has taught me for the past few years and was rewarded with their blessings in return. Having my family’s support there was really meaningful for me. After a family portrait onstage, my father lifted me up and I heard a lot of “aww”s from everyone. I couldn’t have felt happier. My father is the most amazing man I know, and I love him so much. It just feels really great to have someone you trust always be there for you when you’re going through murky waters.

So life, here we are: Santa Laurensia’s class of 2014.

We’re on our way.

Blueaholic is listening to: The Royal Concept – On Our Way


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