The Family We Chose
With the start of a new season upon us, comes beautiful weather. And this year with this beautiful weather come some even more beautiful goodbyes. With the promise of graduation, comes the promise of new adventures and the inevitable reality of leaving some precious things behind.
As an international student, living away from home for the last four years, the one thing I hold dearest to me is friendship. You see, the international class of any study, is quite unique. We are all moved away from home, anxious and excited, bright-eyed, and curious. We all find each other, almost as a play of fate, and become a tight knit family.
For all the birthdays, the occasions, the heartbreaks, the exam periods, we turn to each other for support and solidarity. Strangely enough because we are all we have that’s within our grasp. So, we hold on, and sometimes so tightly that we never realize there will be a day we will have to let each other go.
This week, this heartbreaking realization dawned upon me. As I graduate next month, I will be also be saying goodbye to one of my closest friends. He will be packing and go on his way, back home. I sit here wondering, the peculiarity of this connection. We came from different countries, different homes, different social, financial, emotional, racial, and religious backgrounds. Yet somehow, we found each other, and we chose each other.
We chose the simple things, lunch at the local döner place, studying for exams at the library, going to the market, getting beers before class. We were just having fun, without once realizing that perhaps we were creating memories that would last us a lifetime. That’s the thing about friends, especially international friends: they are the family you choose. So, with this beautiful weather, I will gather the courage to say a beautiful goodbye, to a beautiful friend. Because that’s what this family deserves.
Rina Manjrekar (22) is an international student in the final year of her study Mechatronics at Fontys School of Engineering. She moved to the Netherlands four years ago from Malaysia. Here you can find her earlier columns for Bron.
We just had our last class of Relationships of the Future, that was - like your article - about goodbye. Bittersweet, als one of my students called it.
Here is to good memories, meaningful encounters, graduations :). Here is to life.
Have a great summer.