Editor's Note: Under the theme of “Challenge and Change”, the second English writing contest of SCNU has came to a close with over 280 articles from 28 schools and colleges. We recognize all prize winners for their excellent performance. Awarded winners have been announced (see results), and all winning articles will be published in this column.


By Wang Mengqi

"Learn to change who you are, for there is something in you that has not been discovered yet."

From the moment I entered SCNU till now, it has been my motto and continued to influenced my attitude towards challenges in my life. In the everchanging 21st century, challenges hide in every corner of our environment. While the challenging situations are hard to change, the best way to deal with them is by changing ourselves first. I would rather compare myself to a small boat, which achieved its transformation step by step both externally and internally during its challenging voyage.

The very first changes, occurred in terms of my identity when I was still a freshman. After I began my learning at this university, I found a sharp contrast of the modes of study between here and my senior high school, which I already expected but still felt hard to adapt to. More time for me to control, but also more time to get lost and confused, for then I had got used to being occupied by different subjects. Therefore, I decided to make a difference. The first thing to do is try new things, I joined several associations that I was interested in, went to serve as volunteer, and ran for class secretary. At last, I succeeded in remoulding myself from a slave of exams, as I was in my senior high school, to a member of class committee, and most importantly, the master of my own life. This small boat now, takes on a new look. 


Changing from the outside also led to some internal changes. Being a shy and introvert girl, every change seems to be hard to make for me, so it may take some time before I decide to try new things as what had been in the first year. However, things began to change bit by bit with the changes in my identity as well as the accumulation of my experience. Participation in student associations provided me with more chances to communicate and make friends with others, becoming a member of the class committee granted me a sense of vocation and more responsibility, all of which help to equip me with more skills when at the same time changes my attitude towards challenges. I became more independent in my mind and leant to trust myself much more than ever. Through changing myself, I am also in the way of discovering the true "me".  


Having been transformed from outside and inside, however, this small boat still lacks a clear direction, not knowing where to go. The biggest change came in 2020. Honestly speaking, I had been searching for the direction of my life for the past two years, swaying from one to another without any clue, being tossed to and fro by waves on the ocean. 

It was during the summer vacation in this year, when I signed up for a volunteering teaching activity. Due to the spreading of COVID-19, we had to teach on line. At first, I was anxious and doubted if I could accomplish my teaching tasks successfully, for it was the first time for me to be a teacher in the true sense, and to teach a class with more than 20 students through on-line teaching. 

Driven by such anxiety, I forced myself to shake off my idleness and treat my teaching seriously. I wrote and modified my lessons plan many times according to others’ advice and my own reflection, then put it into practiced over and over until every teaching step was kept in my mind. Finally, the day had come, which was unexpectedly wonderful. When I was interacting with the students, I forgot all the nervousness and unrest before the class, and immersed in my teaching unconsciously. It was from this experience that I found my zeal for being a teacher--nothing could be more rewarding than seeing the happy smiles on students' faces. 

Thanks to those challenges, this small boat gradually grew stronger and found its way during her voyage, with its path illuminated by a distant beacon.  

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