Tough Times Don’t Last, But Tough Girls Do


I began studying for my exams on the first day of the September holidays, only 14 days before the start of my first paper. I’m not proud to announce that the first week was filled with rubbish revision. There was no focus, no study schedule, and definitely no discipline.

Things only got intense five days before the Literature exam, the first of seven papers. I slept only five hours each day, chopped my mixed martial arts practice to an hour from three, and completely gave up my one-hour nap.

From the day I had to tackle that horrific question on the literal versus figurative meaning of the fence in “Striped Pajamas,” right up to my last exam, the equally horrific math paper, every day was a struggle. I felt like giving up, but I just couldn’t.

Pressure, pressure, nasty pressure.

I couldn’t sleep well and I worried plenty. The days swept me along over the two hell weeks of exams, so that on the day I submitted that last paper, a weight fell off my shoulders. I returned home, collapsed in bed at three, never to wake up until eight.

Exams are like life. You pound away at your work, and when you finally reach your destination, you raise your arms in victory and then you fall flat asleep, dreaming of the words, “Tough times don’t last, but tough girls do.”

Annawa “Jiji” Setavoraphan, Secondary Two
October 2015

For more essays by Jiji, visit Jiji Writes.

This essay was written as a freewheeling, post-exam reflection, a fun writing exercise, and an effort at de-stressing. 

2 thoughts

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Richie,

      Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing “Tough Times.”

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