Every time I saw the Pepsi commercial which claimed “ School khatam horaha hai, dosti nahi”, a wave of sheer anxiety used to crawl up my spine as I wondered how it would feel like when school ends. Never did I ever think that time would fly so fast. It never looked like a big deal until I stepped into college for the first time, realizing that oh wait, school is actually over now. Yet, it feels like only yesterday when I entered BSS Canal Side Campus, joyous to see that I will have more than one playground to run around in.

I remember the last official day and how we planned activities for it. We were excited to take photos and open our hair and sing cheesy songs and take autographs but little did we know about how life is going to change once we walk out of these school gates forever. As I close my eyes now, a series of events whizz through my mind. I started school with nursery rhymes and an exuberant smile while ended it listening to Nusrat Fateh’s masterpieces and a few tears. I had to study about salts, generators, neurons and even Momin Khan’s sentimental (more like dramatic) Urdu poetry which always made me feel as if I have been betrayed in love a thousand times. However, taking a closer look, it was all worth it. Wasn’t it? I just realized, the easy happy-go-lucky days are now over.

I am not going to be waiting for a 20 minute break every day now. I am not going to rush to the canteen to bring food for all my friends. I am never going to play King-Cross with these friends. Oh God, I already miss begging my teachers for a free lesson, teachers who were not just instructors but friends and even mothers. I miss sitting on those old benches of our Italian Garden already, even though the garden had nothing Italian in it. I miss playing Tic Tac Toe on class’ tables until our teachers caught us. I will miss hiding away during the P.E lessons just because sports was never my thing. I will even miss the boring morning assemblies where my friends and I would act sick just so the teacher lets us sit.

I will miss the death glares my strict library teacher used to give me as I played with UHU glue on my hands. I will miss fighting my classmates over who is getting the notebook checked first. I will miss talking to my friends through writing on a paper during classes. I will miss asking the aaya jee to pray for my result. I will miss making lame jokes with friends while studying Parveen Shakir’s cheesy aashiqui type Urdu shayari until our teacher judged us. I will miss drooling over my friends’ 10 rupee Cloud 9 chocolate until they got me one too. I will miss making those mindless prank calls and then getting caught.

It isn’t easy to see my friends going away; friends that I fought with for stupid reasons and then cried for them until things were normal again, friends that I wrote about in my personal diaries along with their photographs pasted, friends that once promised to come attend my wedding and prepare dances for it. They said that loyal friendships can stay strong even after graduation. Only time will tell. I see the WhatsApp group chats dying already but maybe one day, we’ll cross paths again, with more action-packed gossips, new crushes to gush over and new problems to cry about on each other’s shoulder.

Entering a new place, I am anxious like never before; but more than the terror of a new place, I feel a pang of sadness for leaving a place where I have grown up. I am not leaving my school. I am leaving my home. A home that gave my life-long friends and cherishable memories. It’s hard to accept but what other option do I have? Just like they say, it was the end of an era...