An Open Letter to Graceans:
Thoughts Upon Leaving my Second Home

Hazel Beatrice Li

February 03, 2016 / Editorial / Chinese High School

Dear Graceans,

In my 12 years studying in Grace, there inevitably were many instances that I wished that time passed by more quickly than it should have. Sitting through uninteresting lectures; doing an assignment without the inspiration to do so; having to deal with group or class activities; suffering in the wee hours of the night spent studying or doing a project; waiting for the colleges to release the results —eagerly did I anticipate the clock to strike faster. When these moments came to pass, it signified another hurdle overcome, another time to move on. In retrospect, I realized I took for granted dull moments such as these that made up the mundane high school life I lived, the very life that I will miss the minute I graduate from Grace Christian College.

Have you ever experienced seeing something and all the memories come flooding back? The feeling that it only felt as if it was yesterday but years have already passed? Indeed, that feeling is really overwhelming. That feeling evokes a deep feeling of nostalgia for what happened and the what-could-have-beens; it also reminds you that life goes on.

Everything comes too quickly when you realize you have very limited time left. In my experience, the beginning of senior year had the students say, “Yes! This is my last year!” However, as the school year comes to a close, receiving acceptance letters, and experiencing the last of everything they ever will in these halls and classrooms, seniors wished they had more time before facing the world out there. With the imminent end coming before our eyes, everyone (teachers, parents, relatives, classmates) asking us about courses and colleges could not help but make us more uneasy than we already are.

I did not really realize the importance of these dull moments before, but what I know now is that in every ordinary situation there is at least one special thing we overlook. For instance, sitting through uninteresting lectures introduced me to dynamic teachers who tried their best to appeal to easily-distracted students. Group or class activities may be a big hassle, but it gave me the chance to work together and spend time with friends and classmates. Only if you look at things from a different perspective then will you learn to appreciate every moment and live in them when you can.

Every moment is fleeting, and so make sure that you savor each second or minute of it. You cannot turn back time. You may be able to wait for time, but time never waits for you. I know that you may want to skip the process and head on to the finish line, but when you reach your destination you will hope to have taken slower, steadier steps and enjoyed the journey more. Trust me, I used to be in your shoes once, and you will be in mine in due time. Everything will come to pass and eventually, you will get there. Waiting may be boring, but now I realize that waiting is an opportunity to the take in the reality of what is happening now and to prepare for what is to come.

For now, I would like you to cherish all the hours you have with your classmates, friends, and teachers, and most especially, your second home, Grace Christian College, where you spent years studying in. Some of you have a long way to go, but remember the clock is ticking and someday, you will have to part ways. Listen to your teachers, compliment your friends, take notes during Chapel Time, study well for exams, participate in student activities, be thankful to God for everything you have so far, do what you can to live your Gracean life to the fullest! You will never have anywhere else like Grace. In my case, the school has always supported me in my endeavors, and most especially, it helped me grow as a Christian. It introduced me to the best teachers I have ever encountered. It also housed me for after-school projects and bonding time with friends. For the past 12 years, Grace really has become my second home, and I believe many of you think likewise.

I hope you realize the importance of time— be it waiting for it, living in it, or anticipating it. All its phases are equally important and they shape you into the person you are and will be someday. I hope that you enjoy high school life and all its monotony and excitement; moments of falling down and getting back up; and the bittersweet taste of triumph and farewell as you approach the end and yet again, embark on a new journey.

God bless you all, and may God continue to be the Guide of your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)!

A 4th Year High School Student 

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