Remembering my years at St. Paul’s

Beiment Abera ’21


Dear Crusader Family,

It was Mother’s Day afternoon when, all of a sudden, my phone became an instant alarm clock, ringing non-stop. I received several texts from friends, family, and colleagues regarding the province’s decision about the sudden influx of cases. The news was devastating and unbearable: those in authority thought we should enter yet another province-wide lockdown. Schools, businesses, gyms, and more were all forced to shut down until May 30, the day before my eighteenth birthday.

COVID-19 has seemed to rob us of yet another high school experience, striking during the final month of my final year of high school. In all honesty, at first, I was delighted by the news—my initial thoughts being those of relief as if a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I saw the lockdown as a break from the fast-paced, arduous semester it has been. However, once the commotion settled, it dawned on me that I potentially had two days left as an in-class grade 12 student.

24 hours to create a few more grade 12 memories. 16 hours to laugh and cherish all the moments of grief, anguish, and excitement that occurred over four years. Eight hours to wish my friends the best of luck, in the hopes we’d return June 1. And just like that, as if in the blink of an eye, we went into lockdown. Already I assure you I am bored beyond measure, so much so that I started writing this article.

People often say—and any previous graduate can attest to this—that the four years at St. Paul’s fly by quickly. As a result, almost every previous graduate has told me to cherish my time here and to be grateful for every moment of it. Looking back at it now, I can’t help but think: is this how they felt when their time was up? Ironically enough, I hated it when graduating class or alumni spoke like this; I couldn’t relate to it or understand what they were trying to convey.

Only now when I realize there is no next year do I understand the nostalgia and memories I share with this square maroon building. My time here has been indescribable and I am forever grateful for what this school has done for me in shaping me into the man I’ve become. I write this so future generations of students can perhaps glance at things from my perspective. But more importantly, so they heed my words and learn from my experiences and those of the alumni. To enjoy every moment of the remaining time you have left here.

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