Re: The end of an era

It’s all over. As of Monday night, I have officially graduated high school. I have exams on the way in the next few weeks, but essentially that phase of my life has come to an end.

The last time I wrote, I was very confused about how I felt about ending my schooling. I had surprised myself by my lack of sentimentality. Well now I can report in retrospect – it was a highly emotional day.

We arrived at school in costume, to the theme ‘Around the World’. My friend and I were decked out in stereotypical French attire, complete with berets, and joined the assortment of international costume and few oddball outfits such as the Energiser Bunny and a scary clown. Photos were taken, hugs were given and in the case of some people, tears were shed. Yes, some started early on the water works – I was a little amused but wouldn’t have laughed if I’d known what was in store for me later that night.

We ran the traditional Year 12 Assembly for the whole school; we danced, we thanked the staff, we performed skits poking fun at some of our favourite teachers, we yelled and screamed and sung and then we filed into the school hall to have our own Year Level Assembly. The Principal spoke to us briefly but saved most of her speech for the Graduation Ceremony that night, our Year Level Co-ordinator spoke as well, we thanked our school captain and our homeroom teachers and we reminisced with videos from Year 7 and a photo slideshow of pictures from our six years at the school.

All pretty standard stuff. It was pleasant, it was funny, it was mildly sad but all in all it was a good day.

Last night was the Graduation Mass, Ceremony and Dinner Dance. I made it through most of the Mass okay but towards the end, the Graduating Class had to read out a prayer/statement thingo. And it hit me. I don’t know what ‘it’ was, but it hit me. And suddenly I got all choked up, my voice wouldn’t work properly and my eyes started watering (look out, mascara!). Why did it only happen then? Who knows. But it did, and there was worse to come.

I composed myself, finished Mass, received my Graduation Certificate and moved upstairs to the function room where we were to have the family Dinner Dance. It was a really lovely night: the food was nice, I had my family and friends around me, there was good music and we danced the night away.

Then the DJ committed the ultimate sin. She played “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C. Now, this is quite a pretty song despite being incredibly overused for events like these. But for some people, it is a tear jerker. And it was so for one of my friends.

And then it happened. The culmination of a very busy and emotional week, combined with my being a sympathetic cryer meant that I lost it. Tears by the litre. And once I started, I didn’t stop. I haven’t cried that much in a very long time.

So, I realise all I’ve done in this post is recount Monday’s events. And I don’t even know how to finish this off. All I can say is that clearly I’m not as unsympathetic as I thought. It was certainly unexpected.

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