SLI 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Yesterday, I headed back to my alma mater RGS to attend SLI 2014 (Student Leaders' Investiture) as the previous leadboard heads get invited to it and it was a bittersweet experience. SLI marks the induction of the new leaders of the school and the handing over of responsibilities from the Year Four senior stepping down to the Year Three junior stepping up into the position. Just exactly a year ago, I handed over my responsibilities of being Waddle Captain to Karyn (which you can read about here) and a year later - it didn't feel like a year at all though, time truly passes way too fast - Karyn was passing the "captain" badge on to Esther. 

Three generations of Waddle Captains :") 

From an observers' point of view, SLI feels entirely different. While I was quite proud to see some of the little juniors I had grow up so quickly to take on various roles, I had much less of a stake in the ceremonies that were going on on stage and as a result, I was unable to feel that strongly for the points made in the various speeches, while they were logical and wise. I felt a little detached from everything that was happening, even though RGS still felt like home - the national anthem sounded strangely melodic and high pitched, something I never realized I missed until I heard it again. 

I have developed a really strong sense of belonging towards RGS and I constantly feel like I belong in Waddle, in House. It's really what ties me back to this school and it is what I remember most of my time in this institution. I was talking to someone (I don't wish to reveal the person's identity, for privacy reasons) during the reception after the ceremony though, and she gestured to all the student leaders who were around us then. She said, for which I paraphrase: "These are the twenty per cent that are identified by the school, and these are the ones that work their butts off but at the same time these are usually the only ones who develop a sense of belonging towards this school. The other 80% float around without doing much and as a result they don't  really feel like they are a part of this school."

I've never seen things from that perspective before, but what I heard really impacted me. The reasons why I love RGS so much is because I've been through so much in this campus, slogging tirelessly, doing proposals, going the extra mile, mostly because of my responsibility as a supposed "leader" of the school. It is through these roles that I spend so much time with people who have become such dear friends to me and I don't think I would have formed such strong friendships without going through so much with them, through our shared roles. 

It's not rare to hear students from this school complain that they don't get opportunities for many things once they aren't deemed a "leader" by the school and I never really saw how significant an impact that could make to one's experience but honestly, thinking back, if I didn't get chosen for many of the things I did get, there'd be a huge hole in my life I'd never would have known could be filled. And as crude as it may sound, that would suck big time. I think that there's so much that the school management/ leaders can do to reach out to those who don't really feel like they belong in a way that isn't forced and right now I do wish I could have came to this realization much earlier because I might have been able to do something for the school community. 

Perhaps, now in JC, the tables have turned for me. But now that I have sort of identified the problem in how I've been feeling quite recently, I think I'd be able to take active steps to rectify it and help those around me as well :-) 

Alright, and back to SLI - I'm so thankful that I got to catch up with many juniors who mean a lot to me and in the above picture we have Tricia on the left, who is the outgoing Guides Company Leader and Misha on my right, who is the incoming Guides Company Leader, both of which are from my Guides patrol 02 Ixora and I'm so proud of them, honestly. Good job Tricia, you've lead the CCA well and do continue the legacy Misha, I have so much faith that you'll do fantastic! 

And of course, in last year's blog post when I was handing over my yellow baby to Karyn and Jiaying, I said that I know both of them will do "bloody amazingly" and that Waddle would be "very well taken care of" and I was right. Yingfinite, you guys are brilliant and I honestly can't express how proud I am of you guys - I feel like such a happy mama; and all the best Esther for the year ahead! Being the House Captain of the best house ever is an experience you'll love and grow to enjoy so, so, so much. Trust us on that :-) 

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