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Cambridge Essay Competition 2004
"IGCSE Brought Out the Best in Me"
Notes for the competition: All the events mentioned in my article are true. They are taking place in my life now. It is just that I have written them in the form of a past story that has already happened.
àWords were counted automatically through a word processing program; they are approximately 1450 words.
21 January 2020
I am writing this e-mail to you as a feedback on your article about me that you have published on your astonishing website. I am glad there are young people like you who care to talk about poetry news these days. That is why I have been following all the new poetry updates on your website and I have carefully read all the criticism that the website's visitors wrote about my new poetry anthology. However, I appreciate that you chose to write an article about me as a reply to the large number of questions about my early life and how I have finally become a well-known writer. On the other hand, I think I owe it to people to tell them myself about the most important factors that have shaped my personality.
In your article, you have mentioned many things that have greatly affected my life, including my family and my university studies. These factors certainly shaped part of my personality, but there is an ultimately important stage in my life that also contributed to the fact that I am 'me'. This stage was my secondary school education. As you might know, I am an IGCSE graduate, who was, and is still, extremely ambitious.
In my opinion, IGCSE aims to provide students with the kind of education that prepares them to face future challenges. In fact, this was exactly what happened to me. I believe that modern syllabuses and exciting subjects are the reasons behind all this. It was because of my studies that I discovered I am capable of doing things I never knew I could do before. The more I learned, the more my talents appeared. IGCSE brought out the best in me.
I cannot describe how much I have gained during my journey through IGSCE. My mind and intelligence were developed and I was taught how to think in a logical way and look positively towards things. To tell you the truth, I was somehow afraid at the beginning of my first year at school, because I thought I would not be able to achieve the grades that I wanted, but then I learned a very important lesson: hard work is never lost, even after many years, and one is always rewarded for working hard. I was optimistic and I always kept in mind the fact that I would highly benefit from almost everything that I learned at school. This made me enjoy studying and look forward to learning and going to school everyday.
'Learn everyday and never get bored': This is my concept. I started to believe in it since I was an IGCSE student. IGCSE made me love education and it is one of the main factors that made me value knowledge more than anything else. Because of IGCSE, my learning needs at school were satisfied. On the other hand, I was always thirsty to know more about everything in this world, because I opened my eyes to see that the world is not just about school and friends. The world is full of many human beings who need to be served.
'Serving and helping others' is another concept that consumed my mind when I was a student. I realized that this concept could not be implemented without knowing more about the world's history, cultures and peoples. My three IGCSE years helped me in achieving this. I have met different kinds of students from all over the world and talked to them. I was introduced to many societies and gained much experience, mainly from meetings organized by the British Council in Alexandria. I used to be a representative for the IGCSE community, which gave me the chance to know more about life in other parts of the world.
After I had learned more about different cultures, I had to start serving others as much as I could. Therefore, I decided to teach myself how to use the tools that I had to help me achieve my principals and aims. However, I found out that the most powerful weapons that God has armed me with are my talents and abilities. They were, and still are, my best tools to serve humanity.
I have always tried to learn from the lives of the great men and women in history. One of the best lessons I was ever taught was from what Helen Keller once said, "I believe that all through these dark and silent years God has been using my life for a purpose I do not know, but one day I shall understand and then I will be satisfied." I totally believe in what she said, and I am absolutely certain that in this life, I have a message to deliver to others. For instance, one of Helen Keller's messages in life was to silently teach young people how to hold on strongly enough to their aims and messages in life, no matter how tough life seems.
When I come to think of myself, I find that the most important changes in my outlook towards life happened to me when I was an IGCSE student. By that time, I had in my mind many messages to deliver, among which was to paint pictures of hope and love in the lives of others. I used my talent of writing poetry as my tool to achieve this. I wrote a lot of poetry to serve my aim and when I reached my second year in my IGCSE studies, I had written more than seventy poems about a variety of issues. I have always hoped that my poetry would remind people of sweetness and artistry, as well as make them learn from life's experiences.
Another message in my life is to teach people how to make the best of their lives and surroundings, because this will make them able to determine their dreams and aims that they want to achieve. I was just a young student at that time, but I wanted to bring this message into life. For that reason, I wrote different articles that were published in teenagers' magazines. Those articles were about the lives of great people who affected the world in a positive way. I wanted teenagers to have idols in their lives to follow. Besides, I wrote reviews about books, to attract everyone towards reading. For I believe that reading is a great tutor. In addition, I created the first wall magazine in my school. I used to update it frequently, as it was a way to benefit my colleagues and make them smile during their hardest times. I did this because I felt it was my duty towards my small community. I had a message to deliver to them.
Thus, by discovering my aims in life, I have lived until now with hope in my heart. The hope of doing something good everyday is the thing that keeps me satisfied. I look forward for each new day to come with sunshine and blessings into my life, which will consequently reflect on others' lives through my writings.
My life started to have a meaning when I realized that knowledge and education are the keys to the life that I was eager to live; the keys to my life now. In other words, IGCSE was the main key that opened the doors of happiness because it reshaped my concepts and dreams and therefore, made me who I am.
To sum up, I would like to say that I have not learned everything during my IGCSE studies from the various subjects that I enjoyed studying, but also from a whole three-year experience with a life that enriched my soul with beautiful meanings and my mind with great understanding of everything going on in this world. I found good use of all my talents and abilities, and my studies helped me develop them as well. As a result, I won a prize for my article entitled 'IGCSE: Where My Dreams Have Turned into Reality' from FlyingColours website which was a website for IGCSE students at that time-. This prize made me more self-confident. Moreover, whenever I saw the outcome of my work, that it had inspired and affected people, I was provided with power and courage to pursue my writing career.
That was how IGCSE has affected my life, dreams and personality. No wonder I consider it my life's most important ladder which after I had climbed, I found a promising future waiting for me.
I once more thank you for your attention considering my new poetry anthology and for your time as well in reading about my life, which I hope can be a model for young youths to learn from.