Letter to the Reader: Roots and New Beginnings

It is always the same. Waiting your turn at the check-in counter; lugging your luggage to your room; shuffling past familiar and unfamiliar faces, and so on. Every semester, for seniors and juniors alike, the humdrum of the moving in period remains the same. And it doesn’t stop there. In their editorial letter to the reader, the previous Editors-in-Chief (EICs) impressed upon readers the lived experience of cyclical time in our student lives. Indeed, as we head into the coming weeks we are sure to suffer the monotonous drag of weekly lessons and a seemingly relentless string of work and obligations. The grind repeats itself. To borrow the words of the previous EICs, the ouroboros of time is once again upon us. 

But this year, it feels a little different.

This semester marks the start of an experience that comes closest to what many of the seniors refer to as the pre-pandemic Tembusu. Checking in in the previous semesters have always carried a feeling of uncertainty with it. Will restrictions be tightened again? Will activities and Interest Groups (IGs) be limited? Will it be worth it? Surely to many of you, such doubts and concerns have been largely relegated to the back of your consciousness. 

There are already signs of this semester being more vibrant than ever before. Even from last semester, the Formal Dinner was finally brought back, much to the delight of the Tembusu community. Many IGs could also hold bigger sessions to accommodate more participants. However, there is likely no more prominent marker of the shift towards a pre-pandemic normal than this year’s fully face-to-face Tembusu Welcome Week (TWW), the first since restrictions got landed on us. Let us be hopeful that this first is but the start of many other firsts this coming semester. In this period of opening up, the experiences at the Home of Possibilities are yours for the taking – now more than ever. 

As Tembusu’s online student journal, Treehouse will strive to document this exciting period to come. It seems timely for a reminder that this platform was initially created in large part to reflect the diversity of student life in the college and serve as an archive of the developments over the years. Looking at the present is important. But it is equally important that we remember our history and the reasons why the present is the way it is. Hence, it is an opportune moment to revisit our roots as we move back – but also forward – to normality.

At the same time, Treehouse must continue keeping its eyes to the world. Pandemic or not, the world is still changing rapidly, for better or for worse. These changes around the globe invite fresh perspectives, interpretation and insights; and here at Treehouse we always welcome those willing to contribute their thoughts and opinions. 

So, write for us. Explore the world. Treehouse invites you to join us in this time of change.

Feature Image from Lukasz Szmigiel from Unsplash. Header Image from Michael Benz from Unsplash.