Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Of Goodbyes

It  just so happen that I was rewatching Ugly Betty Season 4 – yes, in the middle of the exams to destress myself – and I’m now at Episode 11 (Back in Her Place), where various main characters leave the show to pursue the lives they wanted. Owen Connor, the locked up swindler that amassed Mode’s fortune and absconded with it, decided that it is for  his and Wilhemina Slater’s best interest to stop seeing her and put their wedding plans to a grinding halt. Meanwhile, Matt  Hartley decided to quit his position as the editor of Mode magazine and join a six-month tour to Africa as a volunteer, leaving Betty Suarez absolutely heartbroken.

The separation between the lovebirds Betty and Matt inspired the former to start an article titled Goodbyes, which I think was absolutely well written. Betty wrote:

What we can’t do is we can’t live our lives always afraid of the next goodbye – because the chances are they’re not going to stop.

Of Goodbyes

As the semester drew to a close, a horrifying prospect suddenly emerged out from the thin air. That wouldn’t be an accurate description – I knew that it would happen some point, but I was completely unprepared for it, for it to come charging at me in the middle of the exams when my mind is already fully crammed with enzymatic pathways and whatnots.

Remember that bunch of funny, fun-loving and absolutely hilarious exchange students I met? Most of them will be leaving really soon. Alan, a close friend of mine who hails from the sunny country of Mexico, will be the first person that I will have to bid goodbye to. He sat for his final paper today, and he will be heading off to Malaysia to catch a flight today evening.

And I’m only half done with my exams! Of course a selfish part of me wished that all of them could just stay in NTU for a little longer (perhaps another semester) so that I don’t have to say goodbye too early. Sadly, reality is always something that consistently go against your wishes.

Maybe that’s why it’s called reality – a sudden realization that you will have to suck it up, and face the most horribly prospect that you kept replaying in your mind over and over again like a broken record.

Ever so quickly, the semester melted into obscurity. I almost forgot how I met them – I was stuck at Jurong Point after the last bus heading to the campus left, and I met a bunch of them who decided that we should just share two cabs back. That’s how I met Alan and Merel, who introduced me to a few of their friends along the way.

I have never really mingled much with exchange students. It’s not that I did not want to – I just did not have the chance, and partially because I am a little shy and introverted to begin with. But this group of people showed me that there’s nothing for me to feel ashamed about, and they’re as eager to learn about me as much as I wanted to understand their cultural backgrounds and countries.

Alan and I shared a common interest in photography, and I made sure he tagged along in one of my club’s photo outing to Kusu Island. Speaking of which, I’m yet to update you guys about the trip! Shame, Terry, shame.

It’s just too hard to believe that everything is ending so soon. Alan is leaving today. Merel and Marcus will be leaving next Thursday. Melisa’s flight is on the insane, ungodly hour of five in the morning on the 28th. Alex will be flying off on the 30th. I could not fathom the fact that I have to bid goodbye to so many people in the span of a week and a half.

C’est la vie

Then again, when is life without goodbyes? Just like what Betty had wrote – if we constantly live in fear of goodbyes, life won’t be too good. We only live for goodbyes, and they’re not going to stop. I have to say I’m proud of myself for cherishing the times we had together – from dinner times to silly slapstick comedy (and Alex is exceptionally good at pulling that, I wonder if all Germans have humour in their genes) – I enjoyed it all.

It is really a huge honour of knowing you guys. And this is not the final goodbye. I’m sure we will be able to meet again – if my visa doesn’t fall through, I’ll be in Denmark next spring – which promises me the prospect of a rendezvous with Alex in Germany, Merel in the Netherlands and Marcus in Sweden. Susanna told me she might be in Europe next year, so I’m not going to miss the chance of meeting that lovely (and most of the time cranky) Canadian girl. For Alan and Melisa, if I ever travel to the US in the future, I’ll make sure to list Mexico as one of my pit stops – and pay them a visit.

To quote John Gray – we only part to meet again.

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