Words By Alisha Rao
April is an interesting time in the year, and I become more aware of it. April has become a month of ever-changing meaning, at least for me. First, it was the month placed two months before my birth month. Then, it became part of the finale to elementary school terms, and similarly in high school, until I reached Grade 12 and later university. I ask myself as I write this; what did and what does April mean to me?
I remember around this time of year, probably muddled with other memories, that the graduating class got to take pictures with friends in groups, all submitting nicknames, likes/dislikes, and things we hope to accomplish among other things. I remember how indecisive I was coming up with my answers, or how my friends and I struggled to pose in a way that amused us all. That was when it sunk in that I was going to leave high school soon, and leave behind my beloved lunch spot, the first floor locker, and many teachers who impacted me. My close friends that came out of those 4 years in high school were not going to leave me, but I was already acknowledging the fact that I would not get to see them every day. April was ‘the calm before the storm’.
Around the time I completed my first year in university, April was a time I dreaded for many reasons. It felt so tumultuous with the essays I had due just days before my first exams, as well as the strange exam schedule I had. Two at the beginning, the remaining two at the end, both scheduled on the last day. It was strange not to have classes throughout the month, or how quickly my time in residence ended, because most moved out before I was done, new friends I knew I was not going to see often. The community I had there was irreplaceable, and it felt like if April never came, I would be fine. It was childish to say the least, but I was already feeling melancholic. I had to move out of residence one week before my last two exams, since the residence policy instructed I had to be out by 10 a.m. on May 1st, a time constraint that just did not work with my family. My last exam that day was from 7-10 p.m., and I finished around 9 p.m. It was dark, but I walked to find a place to sit outdoors, a bench situated right near the university’s student union building, one in clear view of Hart House Theatre. Before I could get picked up by my father, I closed my eyes on this bench, not caring about anything else. After waking up for an early commute and two exams, I was happy April was coming to a close, forgetting most of the things I was melancholic about. I almost fell asleep on that bench, but my father came by about half an hour later before I could properly doze off. I slept the entire car ride home, and the rest was history. Everything had been moved out by then, and I had completed one year of university. By the end, I found the month to be a bittersweet one, but more sweet than bitter. That was when I felt April had really changed for me.
Do you ever have moments where you overthinking, looking too deeply into something that requires little to no thought? I ask myself that sometimes, and I think even as I write these words that I’m looking too much into what April means to me. Whatever your answer to that question is, I hope it is one amuses you. I don’t have a straight answer, but it amuses me. It brings me to a new chapter I just finished writing, as April has come and is almost gone again.
I had a very different exam schedule this year, one which allowed me to go on trip with my mother and grandparents to visit my family in York, England. It was a trip I could not wait for, a trip I know I talked too much about. Nothing made me happier than spending time with my family, and during this trip, the 8 of us went to Stonehenge, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Looking at the assembly of large stones, I realized something. These stones were arranged in a formation we know was not stagnant, corroborate information with animal bones and tools used at the time, but still have no concrete explanation for its existence or purpose. The stones changed over time, and I could now say the same about April.
April is now a time of year I look forward to, regardless of what university throws at me or how busy I will be. I am reminded about Stonehenge and the time I spent with my family in England when I think of April, recalling how I once whined about walking for long periods of time, something I now enjoy and made the most of on this trip. I remember not enjoying this month a year ago, never imagining that a year later I would be happy or enjoy musing about the April. April has been a month where everything seems to shift a little bit, and I enjoy that, like a turning point that repeats itself in the long, drawn-out story called life.