Dear Koki,

You won’t know the answers to half the questions at the brain bee competition. Every other competitor will look smarter, cooler and somehow more eligible to be there. They’ll speak more intelligibly, share stories of greater feats and will more confidently share their ambitions and how this competition fits in with their life goals.

You on the other hand, will be quivering the entire time, putting on one of your typical nervous smiles, counting down the hours to the end of the torturous experience. After each question you fail, you’ll wish the ground could just split and swallow you up. And considering how much you seem not to know, there’s not much ground left at the end of the competition. You’ll regret listening to all the friends and family who encouraged you to go for the competition even though you keep telling then how unprepared you are. You typically don’t do anything unless you know you are good at it.

Well, I can safely tell you, 5 years later, that the competition is one of the best and coolest things you’ve ever done. It will pique your interest in the wondrous workings of the brain and the body in general. It will reaffirm your ambitions of studying medicine.

You’ll get to meet people from all over the world and realise that there’s more to life than just school. You’ll be challenged to take up hobbies, dream big and put yourself out there more so you can make friends.

Most of all, you’ll learn that it’s not the end of the world when you’re not the best at something. It’s ok to fail. It is part of the learning process. So take more chances and dare to leave the cell you call your comfort zone. Just enjoy the rollercoaster ride that is life and don’t take yourself too seriously.

So thank your family and friends because they believed in you. Always remind them that you believe in them as well.

All the best in your future endeavours. Amazing things await you if only you’re bold enough to try and try again no matter how many times you fail.


Present Koki





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