When the entire school gathers in the amphitheater for an assembly, the youngest class (i.e KG) sits on the bottom most step. I can still remember my 4 year-old-self gazing up at the sea of senior faces untill I found the top most step, and I wondered when the day would come when I would sit on that top pedestal myself. That day came and went at the beginning of this school year. Today, however, I return to that bottom step.
Today, I graduate from school.
I know for a fact that my class has been looking forward to this day for a number of reasons, but we all carefully blocked out the thought that although today is a day we dress up (“prettify”) , and generally have fun this is also our last day together. Most of the people going abroad have already received their acceptance letters from their respective universities, and the rest of us who are staying home have begun our application processes to colleges in India.
The past few months have been filled with conversations ranging from what colour saree we’re each going to wear, to where to buy your grad dress from, to where you’re going to holiday, and most of all, of what we’re all going to do once our exams are done.
The last 14 years have been filled with drama, fun and most of all learning. Learning in the way education cannot teach you. My sociology book would probably term it as “informal education”. A majority of who I am today, and whatever I become, is what my school has taught me inside the classroom and outside. I’ve learnt to stand up for whatever I believe in. I’ve learnt that talking things out is most probably the best way to deal with an issue. And most of all, I’ve learnt that friends are the people who you can sit with in a tent, in the middle of a scary forest after a 3 hour trek up some godforsaken hills, and still have the energy to sit through the night and gossip !
So today, as I sit in the amphitheatre for the last time as a student of my school, the cycle will be complete. I will return to the bottom step, but this time, with memories that will last me a lifetime. This time, sitting beside me will be (mostly) the same people I sat with 14 years, but this time we are not going to be shyly saying hello in our scared and timid voices, but we are going to be saying goodbye.