When Luck Is On Your Side

image: vimeo

LIFE as a student here is not fun. Everyday is a homework day, including the holidays. Sometimes, we get stressed, sometimes, we can’t even catch up. And it gets worse if you are not an ‘A’ student like me. For Maths last year at the mid-year exams, I got 73; for science, 68; for English, 78.5; and for Chinese, thank goodness, I made myself proud. I scored 83, that’s an ‘A’. Still, overall, it was a lackluster performance. To the teachers, it was not lackluster, it was just bad.

Like the good student that I am and always strive to be, I worked hard, very hard, night and day, day and night, in the hope that lackluster and mediocre would turn into something shinier and brighter.

Would the toil pay off? Would it ever make a difference?

There was a mad kind of desperation for a month, then two, leading up to the final-year exams, but by the third month, I felt so tired I really didn’t care anymore. My motto, as the days approached the exam, was, “Ah, just go do it, and do your best!” I like to think this was all inspired by my mom and dad. Am I lucky or what?

A week after the exams, Mr. Goh, our science teacher, called upon four students to his desk. I was one of them.

“Well done!” he told us. “All of you, you’re going to get an award.”

“What are we getting?” Jeff asked.

“I’m not going to tell you.”

A week later, at the prize-giving ceremony, I still didn’t know what award I was up for until Mrs. Sachi, some Head of Department, announced my name: “Chia Xin Yu, second best student of the level.”

As it turned out, luck was truly on my side.

(303 words)


Chia Xin Yu, Primary Six
April 2018

For more essays by Xin Yu, visit Xin Yu Writes.

This essay was written in response to the theme, “A Proud Moment,” and three pictures: (1) a pair of clapping hands, (2) a trophy, (3) a sheet of paper with the word “Well Done” written on it


1 thought on “When Luck Is On Your Side

  1. Hi! It’s interesting to me how academic culture and attitudes vary so much globally – I grew up in the UK, and many (but not all) students worked for the top grades. Each year my school handed out awards to the top achievers in each subject, and those who had done well overall in their exams. At university, students feel a pressure to get at least a 2.1 as this opens up far more opportunities in the graduate job market. By contrast, I have also studied in Sweden, where as far as I know there are no special celebrations for those who get the top grade, and for most university students a pass grade is seen as good enough. I wonder what creates these different attitudes.


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