Shengliver’s Note: The writer Lingkai has sympathy for his mentally disturbed friend.


I used to have a friend in Class X. One day last term he confided to me that he liked a girl in Class Y very much. They were middle school classmates. He had been in love with her for four years. Some weeks later we met again. We chatted a lot. He said that the current education system was not suitable for him and that there was no point in studying Chinese or reading Chinese literature. Then two weeks later he was diagnosed with a mental illness. At the mental hospital the doc said that he had come under too much pressure. After the diagnosis he had to stay at home for a week.


After he came back to school we met again on campus. He behaved weirdly. When we talked with each other, I could not make sense of his words. I was scared and worried.


Now he is no longer in school. He has to stay at home and be under treatment. I think his ideas are wrong. The system imperfect, there are certainly problems with it, but everyone is more or less on an equal footing in this system. It allows us all, whatever background we might be from, to compete on a level playing field. We cannot change the system so we have to adapt to it. As for Chinese literature, I do not think we study it just for the university entrance exams. My Chinese teacher need not take any Chinese exams, but he is well read and very knowledgeable. Thanks to his scholarship, he has accomplished a lot personally.


Were I my sick friend, I would stop troubling myself with so many thoughts and opinions. Right now my goal is to study to pass the exam and to get a place at a good university.


This autumn I will be in Year 12, but my friend will have to redo Year 11. I hope he will fare well and have a good future.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. chenglinben
    Mar 05, 2017 @ 12:33:31

    I also hope he will fare well ahead of himself, but many setbacks may lie ahead.


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