Reflections on my high school life Graduating from high school is like getting on a boat and leaving the island

which has been my refuge for 6 years. Looking back at my stroll on the beach, I found my footprints in the sand. In the beginning, they were hesitant and light, because I was afraid of taking the wrong step. Then they were frantic, eager to cover as much distance as possible all at once. On the other hand, when the boat taking me away comes to sight, my steps began to slow, and became measured. At times I even stopped walking, so that my feet sank into the sand and left deep prints. I started high school without any friends in my class or hostel, so I cried my way through the first two months. Slowly I recognized friendly smiles, and laughter reigned as my friends and I played Monopoly in the hostel common room, climbed the steps to the library every other afternoon, and earned scorching glares from my seniors as we went to bed at 10pm sharp every day during the exam period. As time passed, I began to bloom, actively participating in class activities. Boy, what a time I had! I danced and sang, and participated in class plays. I even got myself chosen as the class monitor and school representative for volleyball. Youth was the greatest adventurer and I did not hesitate to follow its lead. Then came the thunderstorms. For nearly all of my senior years, they raged and attempted to blow me off my feet. I no longer had time to play, as my numerous duties as a prefect, club treasurer, and hostel committee member kept me busy throughout the day. However, at the end of the day I would look up to see a light ahead. No matter how tired and grumpy I was, my friends and family would always wait for me to return from the land of the zombies. Surviving here wasn’t easy, I tell you. Tears were shed and tantrums thrown. My pride was long-forgotten, and falls were inevitable. But after all that, I am still glad. All these made me who I am today, and I learnt that after every gloomy night comes a refreshing new day. Without the bitter taste of failure, success would not taste sweet. Without hard work, celebrations would be useless. Without enemies, I would not have found true friends. Now I am getting on the boat and waving goodbye to my island. Parts of me feel relieved, others reluctant. I take nothing but knowledge and memories, and leave nothing but footprints.

by Sarah Chong, Sr3sc Kuen Cheng Girls’ High School Sept 2009