Sitting down at the Bar Room, leisurely adjusting my black-borrowed jacket (apparently I look good in black and white), I knew this was it- an epiphany. More about work life another day.
Its been some time since I got a chance to write. Its been a hectic 2 weeks and just glad its all over.
A Graduation Ceremony (commencement) is not about you or your friends. Its a celebration for your parents. A commemoration of their hard work and sacrifice, a day of role shifting. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty plus years of child-raising, they can finally retire peacefully knowing that their work has ended.
Both of my parents were here, which was exciting for me (although juggling both of them was taxing). If not for anything else, it provided me an opportunity to look after them, to show that I am all grown-up and they no longer need to worry about whether I have eaten, have enough pocket money or had enough sleep.
Of course, my dad being the typical Asian dad was quite unemotional throughout the whole ceremony only commenting “how can he (cameraman) take a good picture of you receiving the degree scroll when you ran pass him like that ?” Which is code for “I am proud of you, son”. Whereas my mother was frantically running around UCC telling everyone that she was my mother (which is code for “I am proud of my son”).
It was 5 long years. I started my first year at NUS with an “imperfect” perception of life. Blinded by financial rewards and elusive love, the 5 years was as much an academic test as it was test about what life should mean. I have lost and/or gained lovers, great friendships, brain cells, weight, height, intelligence etc… If I could name 5 memorable milestones from university, they would be:
- The day I got my admission letter to the DDP programme
- My summer of 2008, doing crazy number of law internships: think it was the people I met there rather than the actual work itself that left an impression on me.
- My exchange to Hungary
- Embarking on law-biz integrated honors thesis (the crazy overnight marathons at the science lab, writing/rewriting/rerewriting thousands and thousands of words, running through excel sheets and numbers that no law student should ever suffer from
- The day I got my final results; it ain’t a double first class honors but my 8-year younger self would have taken these grades and academic accomplishments in a heart beat.
Now, like they say “I embark on a new chapter in my life”.