18th May 2015 marks the end of my studies, possibly forever, I really hope so. So congratulations to me! No more Chinese or Math to hinder me or be tricked into studying for the rest of my teenage life!
To be honest, I didn’t want to go for my graduation since it’d barely meant anything to me. All my friends had already graduated early last year and my heart had followed them to whichever university or camp they were posted to.
But then again, it made sense to go since I didn’t plan on donning the graduation gown anytime soon or ever. Not to mention, I couldn’t possibly abandon the little super senior’s club I had going on, consisting mainly of Syaffy, QQ and I. All three of us fought really hard
not really to make it through our last semester together and we’re all glad that somehow actually we don’t know how but, all of us made it at the same time or at least same graduation ceremony.
So here we are, from sulking as we watched our batch friends don their gowns from the benches of block 23’s com labs to melting in our own when our moment finally came.
Let’s just say that graduating in the evening is the worst. I was melting and my make up was running anywhere and everywhere. It was almost a disaster. Perhaps the only thing I did right through the day was to iron my hair in the morning, keep my form in the shadows and constantly blast my powdered face with aircon any chance I get.
And of course, be fabulous while I was at it.
Steering this post back on track, here’s a picture of the class. Or at least those who bothered to turn up:
Nii-san/Tokyo buddy/Dale turned up to support/watch me melt everywhere and stop me from possibly rage quiting the entire event.
He got me sunflowers and… a cactus as requested by moi.
Just to get ahead of the game, I took my graduation photo before I went into the auditorium. I had everything. My flowers, a gown, a stuffed toy… except the diploma itself. But y’know, minor details.
The rest of the day consisted of taking advantage of the great lighting and rolling all over the concourse one last time.
Kkuma-kun came along with me too!
To get into an air conditioned space, the bunch of us (Syaffy, QQ and I) registered and got ourselves seated early. Unfortunately we were seated by course and then alphabetical order so we weren’t able to sit together.
Syaffy was somehow seated exactly one row below me and managed to snap an extremely unglamorous shot of how I was sitting then.
I have a good reason for sitting like that though. For one, the whole row was mine/empty then so I was queen of the horizontal plane for exactly 12minutes before a familiar face, one I haven’t been bothered to pin a name to, tip toed passed me to be seated on my far right.
For two, resting my feet in those heels hurt and I didn’t want them to fall asleep at the last moment. I know, all stars fall someday but I’m not feeling the need to have idiots wishing upon me just yet. #shameless
Anyway, about an hour later I took the stage and received my diploma. Fun fact, the diploma isn’t in the folder. It’s given to you before you enter again to go back to your seat. School systems just aren’t magical like that. They’re made to be efficient and efficient they are.
I also didn’t know where to look when I was supposed to have my stage photo taken so I’d conveniently crinkled my eyes, smiled a tight smile into a fairly narrowed down direction and prayed my eyeliner and asian genes would finally do me some good.
Another hour and one dance routine later, I had officially graduated as well as found my family in what seemed like a horde of very hungry, toddler weilding parents that were irritating me to no end.
My first priority was to take any photos anyone wanted to take, change out and be gone before I fainted at the feet of someone who was more concerned with a shrimp roll due to the dire lack of oxygen in the enclosed space.
The family brought me to HaiDiLao to have hotpot and raced me home because well, I’m a working adult now and I do full shifts and shit.
Oh yeah, food was good.
On a more meaningful note, this milestone, as much as I deny it to be, has been an important one for me for it is here where I had lost everything and realized that I had nothing.
As much as I say that school had taught me nothing, it had showed me how the world is a cruel place and that not everyone is your friend. Forcing me to do my own self learning where I forge my own failsafes and learn to rely on no one but myself.
I learnt that I can do many things by myself, that I can make my own decisions, that I am strong.
It is here where I first learnt heartbreak, ultimate loss, betrayal and acquired the first scars on my wrists.
It is here where I learnt there is no definite route; that my fate is my own. That as painful as it can be, I have enough will and strength in my bones and blood to tear myself down and build myself up again.
It is here where I learnt my limits and constantly pushed them because I wanted to; sometimes had no choice but to. Many a times I’d bend, at times I break but I tape myself back together and go at it again.
Here I learnt that through numerous amount of stress, depression and agony, there is success, accomplishment and self-validation. That there is also happiness in myself, not only in what others can suppliment me with.
At the end of the day, I am an environmental engineer.
But I am also human. I am wise. I am proud. I am so many things that makes me who I am.
I am Cherie and as I take my leave from this educational contest stage where we strive so hard to glitter and flounce around in, I finally make my debut onto the world stage alongside my sisters. To live and survive with grace, awarded from countless instances of failure and defeat. To never forget why we started in the first place.
I have not graduated from school. I have graduated into the world.