|Seniors of 16|
Left to right: Chant, Zikri, Anna, JJ, me, Kelsy, Aphro, Joseph, Alex and Ben
The month before the actual ceremony was a blur. It felt like being on a roundabout; where someone is spinning and you're telling them to stop but they don't listen and you end up feeling dizzy.
Everything happened so quickly - there was so much to get done; documents to sign, programmes and slideshows to be made. The seniors (or Seniors of 16 as we call ourselves) came to school and later headed into town for a graduation photoshoot; all dressed up in our formal clothes that disguised the children we were underneath and projected the image of the adults we were about to become.
While taking photographs, we caught the attention of many locals. The Dutch do not celebrate graduation ceremonies like we do. Some even took photos of us as this was new for them to experience - but they didn't realize it was new for us too! You see, only two of the ten people in my grade are actually Dutch. The rest of us come from places like the United Kingdom, Greece, the United States of America, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Canada and Malaysia. It was quite the experience, wandering around the city in our caps and gowns.
The week before graduation
We were starting to rehearse for the actual ceremony and everyone paid careful attention, partially because of the significance of the ceremony and partially because it was to be livestreamed on Youtube for pretty much the whole world to see. As mentioned before, I attend an international school, so we have a different system of doing graduation ceremonies. For example, each graduate has to have a flag bearer to carry the flag of the graduate's country. In my case, it was my little sister holding the South African flag to represent my nationality. After rehearsal, our class brainstormed ideas for graduation. Everyone was furiously trying to find the right words for their speeches, we were attempting to complete our senior slideshow, brainstorming ideas for a school gift and we practiced walking in heels on stage for the actual ceremony. It was a bit of a stressful time, given we had a week left and were still a bit unprepared.
The Day of Graduation
|My best friend, JJ|
Next, we moved on to speeches. It started with a speech given by a member of the staff, chosen by the students. We decided to ask a wonderful man, who we call Masoni (occasionally Kansas). The reason for this is because he is not only our teacher, but a friend. Simply put, our class agreed he is the best teacher we've ever had. After Masoni's speech, it was time for the students to personally address the audience and give their speech.
|Class of 2016 with our favourite teacher, Masoni|
Every graduate gave a lovely speech. The speeches were almost as diverse as their readers; some speeches were filled with thank you's, others were very direct, a few were nostalgic, some were thought-provoking and the remaining, filled with humor. After the speeches, on the screen behind us, a slideshow which the seniors had created,appeared. It showed our transition from childhood to early adolescence, as well as all of our favourite memories. When the slideshow finished, the graduates were asked to rise and move our cerulean tassels from the left to the right.
We then threw our caps into the air. As we did so, we shed our high school selves, with all of our friends and families watching. The audience was clapping, cheering, laughing, smiling. Our friends were applauding, we were looking at each other in disbelief as the photographer captured the last of our high school memories. Graduation was over in the blink of an eye. Twelve years of school. Gone. Just like that..