Walking past my study room, I couldn’t help but take a second glance at the bookshelf. Once filled with books and files, it now stood naked, stripped of its papery clothing. Four years worth of study materials now lay happily in their new residence, the dumpster. The afternoon spent clearing these was a bittersweet one, for it struck me that I was closing a wonderful chapter in my life. Once a Josephian, always a Josephian, they would say. Though true, it pains me to have to say I’m no longer an active member of that beautiful community. An Alumni Membership card is all that’s left to remind me of SJI and how it’ll always leave its front door open for me to come home.
Failed Chinese assignments, undone Mathematics worksheets and English compositions adorned with congratulatory stickers, each and every one of them brought back a torrent of emotions. One assignment in particular, a History project in which we were to design a poster, sent me into a laughing fit so intense, liquids were expelled from every orifice in my body. I never knew Stalin was into K-pop. Apart from a few obsessively neat handwritten notes, everything else was shredded and packed clumsily into eight plastic bags. Arranging them in a row next to the refuge chute, I took a moment to bid them farewell, before sending them plunging into the pungent abyss.
That was it, another page written, another chapter closed. I like to think of my empty bookshelf as a newly-emptied backpack, shorn of old weight, I’m now free to embark on a new journey. Sure, Junior College life seems daunting, but I walk towards it with my arms open, eager to embrace the challenges it’ll throw at me. However, for every step forward, I’ll always look back for a brief moment to remember where I came from, and to see how far I’ve come since.