It has been a while since I wrote, O-Levels sure take away a large chunk of your time, don’t they? The examination I have dreaded for as long as I can remember is finally drawing to a close and freedom beckons, its silvery doorway already in sight. Almost two weeks have passed since the beginning of this battle, and what a ride it has been. From being paralysed with anxiety during the English papers to wondering what in the heavens was going on during the Additional Mathematics papers, this fatigued warrior is yearning for a break.

To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement, but then again, national examinations are a rite of passage aren’t they? Every Singaporean teenager gets a sip from the chalice of pressure and a bite off the bread of suffering. However, it really depends on how much we choose to consume. Some of us overeat and crumble under the immense pressure, while some of us starve ourselves and leave the war empty-handed. Emotions run raw during this period, and every ounce of it is painfully apparent on our faces. Shivering in fright under a canteen table is commonplace, and so is frequent bowel movement, which I hesitate to elaborate on.

When the time comes we’ll see whether our labour bears fruit. After all, not everyone emerges as champions. Whether we live up to our lofty ambitions or not, life goes on. Time waits for no one, the second hand will always continue to run laps around the clock. That being said, we’re far from the end of the line, in a world full of towering trees, we’re still seedlings, still very much in the race to touch the sky. Life still has many tricks up its sleeves, many challenges to hurl in our direction, this hurdle is only one of countless more to come. No matter the result, we have emerged stronger, braver and more resilient, and I think that that is the greatest reward of all.