Editor's note: Under the theme of "SCNU & ME", the English Writing Contest has collected over 320 articles from 30 schools and colleges (see results). This column is specially dedicated to the award-winning works.


By Chen Libang

I'd like to share a part of my life being in the track team of our school. It was a whole year of my life, so I’d prefer to share some pieces of those days. How it went, and how I’ve changed and all.

Entering the team

It was the start of my life at the university. During the first weeks of the first term, freshmen have to attend the military training. Owing to my height, I was selected to the phalanx,  and subsequently, I had to stay in the stadium all day. I was therefore able to watch professional athletes training track and field. I was so intrigued by it that I watched them train until they finished. The coach saw me, being so interested in the trainings, he came up to me and asked me, "Son, do you do tracks?" "Ehm…  I did when I was little." "Good! Let’s see how fast you can run?" "Okay." Then he let me run 100 meters. "Alright, I’ll let you know our schedule tomorrow, I’ll see you around then.” "Okay.” I said.

Fitting in the team

It was awkward and weird for me to stick around with the team because I was the only one who was not from the School of Physical Science. In order to make myself comfortable, I was quiet all the time, the coach said one thing,  and I would do it, and then when a day’s training’s over, I would just leave. 

Days passed, the awkwardness faded, I was finally brave enough to talk with the people in our team. So one day after the training, when everyone was relaxing, I went over to this tanned guy, Yan, who seemed to be a quiet guy, and said “Hey, I saw you run, your techniques are so good, can I learn some from you?” He peeked at me while relaxing and just said: “Sure.”

The coming of the competition

One day after training, the coach gathered the team and said "there'll be a competition coming up, and a selection will be made to create a list of the ones who are going to that competition, so pass down this form and write down your track events. The selection will be impartial, I’d expect you to know that.” 

Yan wrote his events and whispered to me “Wow, aren’t you nervous about that?” I laughed and said “Well, just do our best huh?" "Yeah of course, here you go.” I wrote my events for men’s 100 m and 200 m race and asked “Hey, what’s your event since you’re good at everything?” “200 m and 400 m” “Wow Jeez, the coach is not gonna go easy on you for those 2 events, dude” he said. “We people who do tracks, we either go the hardest on ourselves or we don’t make the best result.” I was shocked by his words because I had never thought that doing track could mean so much to a person.

The selection

Finally, the selection was made, and everyone was fully prepared. The starter said "On your mark, set, bang.” Everyone dashed out like bullets. Soon the race was over. The coach held the results in his hands, smiled and said “Seems like some of you have made really great progress, huh? The list will come out next week, get ready boys!” After anxious waiting, the coach announced the list. Of course Yan made it, but it was a surprise to hear my name called, for I was not that good. I then went to ask the coach, and he said “Well, it is because you will be competing with the non-professionals. That doesn’t mean you will surely win though, some of them are really good. I need you to be more focused, alright?” I was so happy that I made it.


SCNU delegation at the open ceremony of the 10th National College Students' Sports Meet

The preparation

After the selection, the training was more systematic and was much more intense. So many times, I wanted to just give up. Every day I had to suffer from muscle pain with every step I took. However, Yan was always so staunch. He was a stimulus for all of us. That was the period of time when the team was most tied and united. Everyone was supportive to each other, and they were the reason why I persevered. It was a month to the competition, one day the coach went so hard on Yan that he threw up during the training, but he had to continue. I could feel that he was at the edge, but somehow he still finished the tasks. I thought I’d go and encourage him after training. 

It was shocking to see this big guy crying in the washing room alone. I stepped loud so that he’d notice me coming in, he peeked at me and said “It’s so hard, man.” I tapped his shoulder and cited his words “We people who do tracks, we either go the hardest on ourselves or we don’t make the best result.” He smiled at me and said “Let’s go man. There’s more training tomorrow.”

The competition

If you do the best, god will do the rest. In the competition, all of us made great results. Especially Yan, he won all his events. For me, well, I didn’t get any medal, but I surpassed myself and most importantly, I survived the trial. The life being on the track team had not only brought me a good friend, but also sharpened me, turned me strong. I hope by sharing these experiences, I can encourage you, that no matter how hard life is, if you have faith, you will make it.


Group photo taken after the sports game

What to read next:

My story with plant biology
Curiosity toward the amazing microcosm of the natural world has intrigued me for years and drives me to expand my knowledge of the molecules
A Gift in Disguise
Sometimes a gift does not mean good luck as it may come in the form of misfortune
Meet a wider world at UBC
I’ll never forget the time I’ve spent at UBC in the summer of 2019 I woke up with excitement every day, expe
Chase that Light
I can see the affection and passion for teaching in his eyes And that’s what I see as light
Seasons at SCNU
When I look back on my college life, I am so grateful that I ve spend many wonderful days at SCNU
The Stars of SCNU
They are all the stars of SCNU, leading me to keep on and work harder whenever I was confused and lost at sea
My first competition experience
Thanks to SCNU, I ve got such a precious opportunity to show my abilities and practiced my teaching skills in front of so many people
Be a better me at SFS
We make choices all the time The reason why I chose to further my study after all three years of work become more clear to me now
Volunteer in Bali in an orphanage
The time that I ve spent in Bali during the 2018 Chinese Spring Festival has became the most unforgettable and precious memory of my life
Three months into freshman year
I really want to thank SCNU for helping me to convert some of my bad habits into good ones within three months, and I am looking forward to seeing a better “me” in the future