Every time you eat, you create a story. In that sense, food is what makes me happy. It helps me remember the simplicity of happy memories associated with good food, especially when I know that the time I spend with those around me is limited.
Just last week, I was at Il Vecchio, a small Italian restaurant famous for their handmade pasta and gelato, with some of my senior friends, who were about to graduate in two days. Our order of four different pastas came to the table, and we wolfed down the plates within minutes. Next was the phenomenal dessert, a combination of chocolate gelato and chocolate cake, which was quite deserving of its royal name “Prince.” Our empty plates cluttered the table in front of us, but we remained there for another half hour, talking and simply enjoying each other’s company.
I began my journey at Stevenson three years ago, when these seniors were only sophomores. Really, they were children, just like me, with only one more year of high school experience. In a sense, we grew alongside each other, and they have already become young adults ready to take on the trials of college and the world. These seniors also helped me far more than I had realized during these years. Some of them become prefects: they were like my older sisters and brothers, always making sure that I overcame my challenges and helping me feel at home in a place far, far away from home. Some of them became outstanding scholars who won various awards, inspiring me to reach further in my academics and to be smug with complacency. Reward wasn’t always given, but the effort I put in and the realization that I could achieve these goals made my personal challenges seem less difficult. Knowing that there were people I could look up to for inspiration and motivation, I feel confident that senior year won’t be a terrible year of stress and emotional chaos, but rather another year of growth and improvement through challenges that I know I can overcome.
Soon, they would have left, and I will become a senior. My class will take on the responsibility to guide and uplift our younger peers, just as the seniors have done for us. We will follow the tradition. As I sat at the table, picking at the remnants of cream on my plate and listening to the others chatter away, I thought, “this would be the only time in our life when we could experience those exact moments, emotions, food, and setting.” In two days, they would graduate. Our connection and friendship wouldn’t be any different, but the moment – and all the emotions and events that constituted it – would be unrepeatable. I won’t be able to experience those emotions again, but the pasta at Il Vecchio will always remind me of these good memories spent with my friends and the legacy of the lessons they have taught me.
Our meal! Also, Hee So and I at graduation.