“HALLO! yi pian yu, ham omelette, jia fan, dui ma?” The aunty selling food at the western stall has never failed to forget my usual order (perhaps because that’s what I always have when I buy my lunch from her stall). Her warm smile and the tiny crinkles at the corner of her eyes make me feel like I’ve been in VJ for a long, long time. What I feel for VJ now, is a far cry from my feelings for the school when I first stepped in and started to call myself a Victorian.
The first day of junior college was mortifying. I stepped into the hall and looked at the masses of people donned in their respective secondary school’s uniforms. All I wanted to do then, was to run back home and hide under my bed. To my horror, the school had gotten my orientation grouping mixed up and I had to go on stage to get regrouped… Under the haze of my nerves and the daunting prospect of having to make new friends, I thought to myself: I’m so scared. What if I don’t make any friends that appreciate my personality, instead of merely accepting it? What if I don’t even have friends?
My seniors assured me that I would grow to love VJ, but I doubted them. I looked at the enthusiastic OGLs cheering their hearts out, their perspiration falling in buckets while the atmosphere soared, and I wondered if I could ever feel the VJ spirit as well. Throughout my time in VJ, subconsciously, VJ grew on me. The VJ charm to me, is how the chants of ‘FULL DAY’ fill the hall when Victorians do well academically or in competitions. It is how singing the school song during important school events doesn’t feel complete without doing the YO VJC cheer. It is how you get bumped by balloons whilst walking in the corridors during Friendship Day or Encouragement Day, and how the ‘lalalalalala’ song sung to the tune of Happy Birthday makes no sense at all.
The charm of VJ exists in the encouragement notes stuck by the Student Council on the library tables. It exists in the notes from our seniors which get passed on year after year. It exists in the way the Student Councilors fetch Victorians like us from the bus stop with an umbrella when it is raining. It exists in the ‘live band’ that we have playing the college anthem and the national anthem every Friday, and even in the way Music Fest tickets sold for $80 in the black market last year. It only goes to show how much Victorians mean to each other. Going out to watch Victorians play against other schools in A Divs or other competitions are common occurrences, even missing classes is ‘no big deal’.
The Volleyball finals against NYJC was the first school match that I had been to. I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy myself very much (volleyball is as foreign to me as science is) but to my delight, it was during that match support when I truly felt the VJ spirit. I was never the sort of person that cheered during school matches, but in VJ, I did. Somehow, this odd feeling of comfort, homeliness, and warmth crept up on me, slowly but surely.
While school is only going to get more hectic for me, I’m certain that it’ll still feel like home. Just today, my classmate Joyce packed little care packages for us, not for any reason, but just because. It really moved me, because it is these simple acts of concern that make the ever growing mountain of work on my desk a little less daunting. I love that I see wide smiles stretched across nearly every Victorian’s face, and also how the dreariness of lecture theatres are sometimes peppered by colourful little floating balloons. I am in this safe happy balloon that is VJ now, but it is inevitable that I will move on from junior college into the cold, harsh and sometimes scary world.
Regardless of the uncertainty of the future that leaves me a little disconcerted, I will always hold the love that I have received from this short stint in VJ close to my heart (along with the new songs that I have learnt from the daily song dedications after Assembly period). Perhaps it will be rather fitting to end off this way: Thank you and Nil Sine Labore.
Photo Source: Chong Kia An (VJC PhotoSoc)