When asked to describe a person’s life, I always want to counter by asking whether we should start from the birth till the death continually. Writing someone’s life is already a hard task, but to write about our own life is the hardest task. It is like to have us draw out our blood and drink it, it is a mere task to recall all the memory from the depth of our consciousness even we have to endure pain and joys. But as a human-being, we shall remember and treasure our history. Henceforth, let’s hear the story of my rise and fall.
If I have to start, then I’ll start with the time when I have nothing. During my first periods of academic life, I was just an innocent and ignorant boy who dressed up a school uniform and went to school just to please my parent. At class, I viewed everyone around me as my peers, nothing less, nothing more. I didn’t feel any competition. I had no goals, no dreams, no motivation, no energy to fight for the honorable “1st rank” class label, a simple mark which represents the word “best student”. My days at school were just as simple as the sky is, vast but empty.
It was until the time I entered my 7th grade where I met a few personalities who indirectly inspired me to challenge. Most important of all, it was my homeroom teacher. He, without any hesitation, made me the leader of the class. A boy with no ambition, hold no valuable experience in administration, and live with a wish just to live, was suddenly assigned to become someone who will responsible for the well-being of his friends and classroom. His eyes had been opened. But the light would never shine on such a boy who reluctantly took the job. He was subjected for many criticism from both teachers and classmates, as a result of his poor performance. Despite this downfall, my studying was unexpectedly grow. I could not believed myself when my homeroom teacher presented me a piece of paper which tells everyone who read it that, I received the best score for the month, which made me the “number 1”. My parent was so pleased that they hugged me and said “your real journey has begun”. I then embarked on a journey to find the reason of my unwanted rise. Started from that, I often made my name to the top of the class list, and my life had changed dramatically, to the point that I believed a new me has born. However, I couldn’t explain why I could achieve that… I always ask myself “Why would a normal boy like him was able to received the “1st rank” even he had no such background since the start of his academic life?”
From grade 7 to 8, there is little to be talked, as I kept my performance as good as possible. Arriving at the 9th grade, I prepared for the High-school entrance exam. But the climax of the class was full of competition, and for the first time of my life, that I declared that I would enter this “contest of will”. I did make names, and it was in Chemistry. During each Chemic class, I usually outshone other students with my quick and accurate answer. Then the class gave me what I would remembered in my whole life, and it was “honor”. It was the first time that I received genuine recognition from my friends, and it was always be the source of my undying “self-belief”. At the end of the term, I graduated from the Middle school, passed the High-school entrance exam with the mentioned “Very good”.
The next part is, as I name it, another “life turning point”. At the time I arrived at Preah Sisowath High School (from Chaktomuk Middle School), I again felt that it is a new world to me. I was separate from my old friends, and put into a class where I met my friends from my 2nd grade. I would be a celebrated reunion if I had not wanted to try the “exam for the 3 special classes”. I wanted to inspired myself to continue my journey, and I thought by taking the exam would give me the better opportunity to seek the answer . I expected myself to be permitted for Physics class, but out of my expectation, I was named in the Khmer Class. My mother was not pleased that she let out her disappointed and lacks of understanding, she demands explanation why I couldn’t make it to the Physics class. She questioned the credibility of the Khmer class as a no-potential one. “Decision” needs to be made. Either stay at the original class with my old friends, or to go to Khmer Class where I have no idea why I was put there? To rejoice old friendships, or to treasure the sea of opportunity? Many young people would choose friendship over anything, but I, in the last minute, grabbed my student bag and walked straight to the Khmer class. I told my old friends “If we are truly to be together, then we will no matter where we are staying. I choose to go there so I can fulfill my wishes, but I promise I’ll visit you guys” and I proceeded to inform the teacher that “I am now belong to the Khmer Class of Preah Sisowath High School”. A little sign of farewell was made but when I arrived at the Khmer class, I received no welcoming gesture. Everyone was sitting in their seats, as bold as they are, looking at me walking in. I smiled to ease my own nerve. I sat there and found one of my friends from grade 9, and I was so relieved that I would have reliable company. The new quest has begun and the first reward was that I became the class 2nd-in-command leader, behind that old friend. The rain was still pouring on my root and my life at the class was full of nightmares. Not only I could not make real friends out of them, but my studying was so low that even my dad shed a tears when he knew I was at the near bottom of the list. For me to see this, I felt grieved and, for the first time in 5 years, I cried. When we were at our ease, I told him “Give me one more chance, I’ll prove”. But I still couldn’t. I only managed to get back to the middle of the table but I was too far behind the leading figure. One thing I never tell my father was that I skipped many teacher-made extra classes and went to play video games. I was called amongst my classmate as “game-addict”. A terrible year ended with a far bigger puzzle for me to solved. What was the reason I lost motivation? Why I haven’t found the answer I seek since grade 7?
Vacation was the only time for a struggling students to do retreat and cloak their darkness inside their closed room. But because we are in the darkness, it becomes easier to see the light, cos it would shine brighter. I comprehend a piece of answer, and I knew I was not adapting myself to the classroom’s environment.
The start of the 11th grade was another drama. I entered the Khmer class as a new person, but original student. I began to explore more of the class culture, and I found that everyone was indeed, helpful and friendly. I made friends with everyone in there and we had so much great time there. We grew stronger together. It was at that time that, a group of students finally form an organization to achieve higher goal. This organization would be later known as “The Power Six Group”. The actual cause was to withstand the cruel treatment and view from other special classes, as Khmer Class student was the only one who received ill-fated perspectives… some call us a “low-life” or “low-standard” students. But to me, as long as we are students, we are honorable. I could feel the need to stand up against all the negative view and I believed that by joining hands, we will defeat it. Due to the rising in bond between me and my friends, my life at the class became more meaningful, and I could manage myself into the upper part of the table. Despite this, I was still the kind of person who didn’t wish to compete with friends. Due to this, I kept my rank very consistent.
The story of the 11th grade would makes the part of my 12th grade even more dramatic. The Power Six Group grew stronger as the group’s weapon “PS News” gained so much popularity inside the campus. And as it was the year of “fleeing the hell”, everyone set up their own goals and plan to achieve by the end of the year. Even though there was high tension about the final high school exit exam (Bak II), the climax at the class was getting more colorful and lively. A great joys of life, the best year of studying, was there before my eyes. I still dreamed about it in my sleep. My studying at ACE has come to an end and I took the IELTS test which I received 5.5 for the score. At some point of a time, I applied for an exchange program to Japan, I was made the representative from the Preah Sisowath High school along with my classmate. We were boy, and as the program favored female students, we were not selected. It was tearful moment for a student who was closed to find the answer, to be discouraged. But at the end of the year, it was the time of joys and tears. The Bak II was the meanest exam, the first one. 2 days and a half seems like 2 years. The hours we sat there made us remembered all the 12 years we spent at school and how much we need to try to not made that years become a vain. The result day was filled with a crying sky. Rain poured at the time the speaker was about to announce the name. The name they would here didn’t mean those who had passed, but those who had failed. For the first time in their life, no students want to hear their name being announced. I wish my ears wouldn’t lied me if I did heard my name. But my names were never been called, and under the raining sky, I danced with ecstasy. A grade “B” means I could be in Business somewhere. I know I am so closed to find the answer.
At the University, I again became victim of the sudden change. I was not taking the rules, culture and standard there seriously and I hardly make recognizable achievement during my first two years there. I began with the National University of Management where I received a scholarship award to study there due to my grade received from the Bak II examination. I also applied for the Royal University of Laws and Economic, where I studied the newly formed major, IT for Economics. At RULE, I couldn’t comply myself to the extravagant culture of students there, thus I dropped from that university and went to Royal University of Phnom Penh for the IT major. There are two different stories here at my university life.
For my RUPP life, I began strong, finished 4th in the class at the end of the year for the 1st year, then declined. I finished 9th in the 2nd year and I dropped rank again and again. However, I managed to acquire the scores necessary for my graduation there. But for my NUM, I started off with low and unfavorable scores during my first two years. But from my third year, I decided to change. I tried harder and harder, and for the graduation examination, I was 2nd in rank for the overall score, just 3 points behind the leader.
No, this is not a story of a famous, successful or leading figure. This is just a simple note of a boy’s life who is still struggling with the ever-changing social life and environment. However, this boy now knows the answer he asked himself when he was in grade 7. It was the question that took him long time to solve. He believed that he had no competitive background, no desire to challenge or whatsoever. Why, why did he managed to get the highest score that month? But now, the answer is clear. It was because for us as students, we shall not clouded ourselves with a simple word like “1st” or “2nd” in ranking. They are just ordinary wording technique to represent the achievement. But the real achievement is within our studying record itself. Because we do receive scores from the test or exam, and they are what we really achieve. When I enter my grade 7, I just keep doing the thing that I think I should do, it was to “complete the task”. If you are asked a question, all you need is to answer. Do it efficiently and effectively. Don’t try to think that whether your answer will be the best one or worst one, firstly focus on whether it is correct and reply to what the question want. There you will receive the score for it, and you keep collecting each one of them, until you complete the whole task. It is simple. Most people want to best out others by telling them that their answer is the best, but, there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”, it is just our thinking. The rank “1st” “2nd” “3rd” are just for incentives, but in reality, it represents nothing. During my first 6 years, I did received scores, good scores, but they were just behind others. When I was in grade 10, I also received a decent score but everyone were ahead. But I DID received scores. This is the answer. IF you asked me what I achieved, then this is what I achieved. People said they have dream, but it is impossible. If they don’t push for it, they will be nowhere to be seen. But if they started their journey now, surely they will reach some points of the road. Whether they could achieve it or not, but they would have completed some part of it, and it will be, their priceless achievement.
There is always a reason for rise and fall
Who can master the visiccitude of man and all?
Life is a transcient effort in vain
Why not detach it from fame and gain?
Dedicated to my juniors, specially the ARS club.
P.S: I was about to post it last night, but I ran out of connection fee… 😀