I wasted most of my time in secondary school on dating girls. I wish I spent more time and effort studying, but as a boy growing up in puberty, the hormones affect the brain. Unfortunately, there was no subject in the academic curriculum to teach me how to love, nor my family would openly discuss this at home; therefore, I learned my lesson the hard way by trial and error, which was a bit of regret. As an introvert, I was too shy to let the girl know I like her. It was so pure, so superficial to be attracted to a beautiful girl as first love. She was a classmate in my class who seemed to be a good girl. As a young boy, I was looking at her, listening to love songs, dreaming of all the love stories that could happen to us. But it never happened because I was too shy to ask her if she likes me back or not. I had an okay appearance to attract other girls that I did not like. To make things worse, one of the worst girls in the class was being proactive in chasing me, and I accepted her as I did not know how to decline; this girl I did not like became my first girlfriend. Meanwhile, the girl I like broke her heart, because she secretly likes me back too, but it was already too late when I found out. It’s a simple love story with regret. Lesson learnt as a young introvert.
There were five classes at the same level. I was in the worst class, but I was the best student in that class. In my class culture, there was something wrong that the morale to study was so low, and students are naughty in puberty. I started to have complex love relationships with different girls in the class, as the girls were so open, touching each other sex organs full of curiosity with a high level of sex hormones. I met a girl from the school next door online via ICQ. We met and dated to watch movies; then she put my hand on her breast inside the dark cinema. After the show, she brought me back home; then, it was my first sex education. I learnt more after school than inside the school. I lost interest in studying as students just cheating easily on exams using past papers from repeat students. My class was a mess, especially when comparing with other classes. They seem to perform better because the teacher was building a better culture in other classes.
The girls I dated have a lot of influence on me. When I dated a naughty girl, I mostly played outside and back home after midnight. After more than ten different chaotic short relationships, I somehow got interested in dating the best student in the best class. She was the number one rank student with straight A’s in all the subjects. She shines, especially because she was the M.C. of all school events. She speaks in front of the students with confidence. I was admiring her, looking up at her on the stage as a naughty boy. I took on the challenge to get this best student as my girlfriend. Amazingly she became my girlfriend out of everyone’s expectations. Then I start to feel the pressure because my academic results need to catch up. She beats me on every subject, while I had strong self-esteem. So I studied harder, finally got full marks in chemistry, winning her in only one thing. Because of her, I was more motivated to learn and become a better student. Our relationship was stable until later; we entered different universities.
Before entering high school, we need to take one public exam. The competition was keen as five classes would be eliminated to only one science stream and one art stream class. I should also focus on the exam, but I love extra-curricular activities more than academics. I joined different societies, such as a dancing club to meet girls. Eventually, I became the president of the graduation dinner committee to organise the event. I enjoy being a leader in the association, and of course, my girlfriend was the M.C. of the night. It was a stressful process to discuss budgets, shooting videos, and no matter how hard I work, some unhappy students disagree with the plan. I learnt a lot from that experience. Even though I did not entirely focus on the public exam, I got 24/30 marks with 6 B in all subjects to come back to high school.
Entering high school was just the first round of public examination. There was a second general exam for A-level to enter university. It was one of the most challenging exams, and the competition was keen. Once again, I did not entirely focus on academics and ran for election as the student union president. It was the most memorable period because it was tough. I only sleep 3 hours per night as I need to deal with both study and student union. In the beginning, I felt confident that I could balance both at the same time. However, later on, it felt like everything fell apart when the midterm exam result was unsatisfactory, and student organisations got into conflicts without any support. There was an earthquake in China that year, so I organised charity events to ask for donations to support the people in China. I organised a fashion show event, selling tickets and ask for free sponsors from clothing brands. It was not easy to organise the show. Still, it was successful, with students from different schools coming and supporting, teachers performing and sing songs and even parents appreciating my effort. It was meaningful to contribute to the community, while luckily, my public was good enough to enter the Chinese University of Hong Kong in chemistry.
One of my favourite subjects in the A-level exam was the Chinese language and culture. I love it so much and even get a better grade as a science student than my peers in the art stream. It teaches me to ask questions about the meaning of life, Confucious values and traditions. As a young man growing up and becoming mature, I was fascinated by all philosophical discussions, trying to think about the ideal political system and what to do with my life in the future. The book by Li Tiamming about his art of thinking influenced me. I do not need further to seek the ultimate answer for the meaning of life; I need to find a good enough solution that I find meaningful, 1. Keep learning new knowledge and enriching myself with experience. 2. Enjoy life 3. Contribute to Society 4. Build relationships with others. These are my meanings to keep myself going as the student union president and even continue later on in my life.
Originally published at http://victorleungtw.com on August 1, 2021.