Sunday, 2 June 2013

LIFE OVERSEAS: A chapter closes

MEMORIES: The writer helps in the production of a yearbook as she finishes high school

STUDENTS have a love-hate relationship with school. When we are burdened with examinations and homework, it is the last place we want to be. But there is more to schooling than meets the eye.

Starting school is the first step towards the world outside. It is the place you learn more about yourself, meet people and form lasting relationships. Innumerable memories are made within its walls.
As your perspective on life changes with puberty, high school generates bittersweet recollections, which are like gems — priceless and unique. They are like promises to be kept.
It finally hit me that I have only two more months of high school. One chapter of my life is closing and a new one will begin, come September when I head for university.
Preparation for the senior graduation ceremony has begun. The topic of the yearbook arose. The school will not play a part in it. It was our baby.
I felt that it was too much to handle. Do not get me wrong as I adore projects. But as my examinations were approaching, I did not want to add to my workload. However, I wanted to contribute to the venture in my own way.
My classmate Róisín Healy headed the production of the yearbook. She formed a committee and I volunteered to be the photographer as well as designer.
I had to photograph every senior-year student. Issues such as “messy hair” and “insufficient make-up” seemed to apply to many female students.
After several weeks of tracking down several elusive students and teachers, and hours of photo editing, my tasks were complete.
The yearbook also included a section on awards given to students. They ranged from  “Most Beautiful Smile” and “Most Likely To Be Late For Their Graduation” to “Most Likely To Invent Something Absolutely Useless”.
In another section, a student had to complete the statement: “In 20 years’ time, I hope to... .” One student jotted down the response: “Have a husband, three beautiful children and travel the world.” Another wrote: “Be married to Zayn Malik from One Direction.”
My favourite section is a quote about another student in the same year. Names were pulled out of a hat and the special quotes added a lovely touch to the yearbook.
Producing the book made me realise the many amazing friends I have made and the adventures I have encountered.
So two decades later, the book will not just be a mundane item but a collection of memories that I hold dear.

The writer is studying at a high school in Ireland. She loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart

Read more: LIFE OVERSEAS: A chapter closes - You - New Straits Times

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