There is this odd sense of liberation when you leave school after years of formal schooling. Like finally taking off that promise ring you’ve been wearing for years, or finally getting to go for a walk outside after days of being cooped up indoors. It is strange, but it promises some sort of freedom.

For the past three months, I have been lamenting about the past 15 years of having to drag my weary self to school every day. Some days were good, some days weren’t as good. Now, after receiving my final public examination results slip, I am filled with pride.

Sure, formal education in this country leaves little to be desired. A lot of us are treated with unfairness, especially when it comes to higher education. And maybe the public exams leave one too many tears.

But those 15 years of memories are forever cherished. The freedom that comes with leaving school is strange. It’s a mixture of relief and sadness; relief, knowing that there’s a whole new chapter in life that has yet to be explored, and sadness, knowing that the pages of one chapter have been permanently turned.

It is an unexplainable feeling. Tonight is one of those nights where graduation is more melancholic than exciting. It’s the memories that have been left in the footprint-stained walls of the classrooms, the graffiti etched permanently on the tables and chairs, and the fraying pages of the books that make it harder to let go.

Funny how life works in a way that we don’t appreciate things until they’re gone.

Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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