This evening marked my official ‘so long’ from Secondary School Education. As I sat in the Hall with a perfume headache and the innate itching sensation that can only be found in overheated auditoriums, it was with a sweet smile my eyes took themselves on a journey back to Year Seven. I could recount a range of incidences and experiences, but what struck most was the memory of my sister and I saying to ourselves after an assembly –
One day, my name is going to be emblazoned in gold-paint on those ‘School Achievers’ Boards.’
The moment I donned that blazer and wore that emblem, I’d felt a deep need to be remembered. I wanted to leave my mark on that institution, for people to think of me when it was mentioned. I didn’t want notoriety. I wanted excellence. I wanted to give my all and shape and re-mould that school until it became a part of me and I became an intrinsic part of it.
These may seem like lofty aspirations, but I have always been raised to believe that life is there to be marked. Redesigned, redefined and shaped in whatever capacity by those who pass through it. After seven years in that institution giving my everything, soaking in every scent, masticating every morsel, leeching all the nutrients and opportunities, before exhaling my own impression, my own impact, I was returned once more to a newly decorated, but ever the same, School Hall. And at the end of the evening I got to smile. Because Lo and Behold, unexpected, not unwanted, but unforeseen, I left that school with my name on not one but two of the school boards. One is in the Chapel. The other is in that Main Hall.
If my 11-year-old self could know something now that she didn’t, it’s that her dreams and aspirations have come to fruition. Hopefully they will continue to. Hopefully the person she has become will never be afraid to dream…and actively make those dreams a reality.