This evening, all over South Africa, nervous matriculants are about to receive their final school results (Good luck to all!). For those overseas, it’s kind of like getting GCSE or SAT results. Many of my friends’ younger siblings are going to be getting their results and not only does this make me feel super old but, it also makes me feel a bit nostalgic about my high school years and this exact night for me 3 years ago.
3 years ago, just before midnight, I was sitting, very impatiently, on my living room couch waiting to find out whether I had passed, especially in mathematics and science. As soon as I got the SMS, I screamt so loudly in shock. In a split second, my school career was well and truly over. Could I have worked harder? – Most probably. But, knowing that I had 12 years successfully behind me and a future at a university made me actually quite sad.
I was very lucky that I had an amazing time in high school. I had great friends and got to experience some pretty awesome things. The days of everything being paid for me, being driven around and looked after, were officially over and now came the big wide world with a neon sign: GET A DEGREE AND A JOB.
Now three years down the line, entering my final year of university, I look back on my high school years with a warm heart. The marks were never important to me. Spending lunch breaks and Saturday nights with my friends, drinking alcohol a bit too early on and chatting about boys for hours with my girls are memories that I know I will cherish far more than those boring hours spent in a classroom.
We take so many of these years for granted and it’s a horrible cycle. In primary school, high school students tell us to enjoy school. In high school, university students tell us to enjoy school. And in university, working people tells us to enjoy university. The cycle never ends, and at each stage we look back and think how we wish we could relive it or redo it.
Now, I’m not going to use the crap sayings like Carpe Diem or live in the moment, blah blah blah. We get all that crap from our parents and the internet. All that I want to say is: take a picture. Try and remember it. If there’s anything that I wish I did in hindsight, it would have been to take more pictures. Because as you get older you forget. And no matter how hard you try to remember the special moments, it’s usually the horrible times that stick out.
So, you know that round little thing at the back of your phone? Use it!! Use it to remember those you’ve loved and lost, the moments when your stomach was so sore from laughing and the moments you want to never forget.
Here’s to those moments, passing school and hindsight.