Shengliver’s Note: 5 pm June 8 is a milestone on the journey of Chinese teens. It marks the end of high school and the start of college.


Every year June sees big exams come and go. A few days ago, this year’s university entrance exam took place in our school.


Two days before the exam, we Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes cleaned the classrooms and the hallway. We wiped the windows, the blackboard and the desks. Simultaneously we mopped the floor. It was exhausting. Finally, the headmaster came and inspected the rooms, spotlessly clean. He nodded with a smile of satisfaction. That meant that we could go. The stage was set for the examinees.


Before leaving for home, I stood in the front of the room imagining how the examinees would feel during the two days. Confident? Afraid? Anxious or something else? I had no idea. One thing that I was sure of was that they would do their best in the last battle of high school.


It is two days since the exam was over. On the way back to school I saw the proud soldiers heading home. They looked happy and relieved. It was the end of their high school war. It was also the beginning of their independence. Leaving behind high school, they could not wait to embrace their future.


Knowing that I will be just like them two years from now, I turned my eyes away from them and walked ahead toward the classroom.


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