Time flies so fast. Looking back, my Tamil school journey was definitely a rich experience. I cannot remember my first day at Tamil school, but I do clearly remember not being able to write any cohesive sentences. When the teacher asked me questions, I stumbled over my own words. Eventually, I began to improve with the help of my teachers and my parents.
However, learning something new is always challenging. Similarly, it is not an easy task to learn a new language. Whilst I was hesitant to learn Tamil in a country, where English was the predominant language, I was quickly inspired to be proud of my mother tongue. I was passionate about learning Tamil but Tamil school did not only expand my knowledge but also provided me with many opportunities such as participating in dramas, annual concerts and more. Although it may be surprising, I even participated in Tamil school athletics. Time raced while I was creating new friends, eating pizza on the last day of the terms, and eating cookies during recess.
Soon I was about to embark on my Tamil VCE journey. Although I was now familiar with Tamil, I was still frightened to begin a subject in Year 9. Anxious, I entered the new classroom filled with familiar students. Due to my friends and my amazing teacher (Prema Teacher) who supported and guided us, my fears quickly dissipated and my VCE ½ experience went by smoothly. Classes were filled with us writing many essays but still finding time to tease each other. Without being aware, I was one week away from entering the VCE ¾ class. I curiously inquired about the ¾ teacher from past students and was satisfied to hear them praise her. I knew that this year was vital and that I would have to sacrifice a lot of things.
On my first day, the nerves returned when I realised that I was the first student to reach the classroom. I introduced myself to the teacher as I anxiously waited to meet my new classmates. As soon as I met them, I was confident that I was going to enjoy my last official year at Tamil school. From normal classes to exams and holiday classes, we all studied hard under the guidance of the teachers. We shared a common goal and aided each other in order to achieve it. Contrary to my expectations, VCE ¾ wasn’t completely filled with stress and studying, I was able to meet students from different campuses and was able to develop joyful memories such as the surprise birthday we held for Abi teacher. There were times throughout the year where I felt stressed and nervous, unsure whether I could complete this subject, but with the help of my classmates, parents and most importantly the teachers (Abirami teacher, Uthaya Aunty and Param Uncle), I was able to persevere and grow.
As the exam neared, I spent more and more time with my teachers and classmates. I took in every single feedback provided to me and asked endless questions. The day before, we all spent the night revising and practicing with our teacher. With that, my exam was done. I had completed a VCE subject and more importantly I had done my mother tongue as a subject. Although I was happy and proud, it was definitely a bittersweet feeling. I was overjoyed about the completion of a subject, but I also wished for more time. More time with my classmates, with my teachers, with the other students, staff and volunteers at Tamil school. After the exam, I savoured my last few weeks of being a student at Tamil school. It was filled with laughter and joy, as we celebrated our success and achievements. To say I was blessed to have had such an amazing Tamil school experience, is an understatement.
Learning a new language is an ability that many individuals desire to achieve, and we are lucky to have gained this ability. Every language has its own difficulties, and I am grateful to those who have aided me in overcoming these obstacles. Although there were many ups and downs, my Tamil school journey is an experience that I will never forget.