The national college entrance exam, known as the gaokao, is finally over. The papers have been collected and are being sent to the examiners. While you await your results, there’s no point in worrying about the exam – it’s done with. What you should do now is reflect on the past, and the future.
普通高等学校招生全国统一考试，简称高考，终于落下帷幕。收卷后试卷已被送至阅卷人批阅。等待成绩的同时，担心考试已无济于事 —— 一切都结束了。你现在应该做的就是回顾过去、展望未来。
Of course, so much depends on how you’ve performed. Success will mean that you can apply for a place at a top university. An average result will mean that you must take a more realistic view of your college career. Failure will mean that different plans must be made.
At a time like this, it may help to take a longer view of things. The gaokao, and the three years of intense study which come before it, are an important stage of life, but they are only a small part of it. They are an early chapter in the novel of your story. You, the hero of the story, are still making your first strides.
And what great adventures lie ahead. Those of you who are heading to college will soon be spreading your wings. Perhaps you’ll study in a city far from your hometown, with more people and many more differences. That will be a special kind of thrill – half exhilaration, half fear.
精彩的冒险还在前方。即将前往大学的你们很快就要展翅高飞。或许你将在一个远离家乡的城市学习，遇见更多的人，感受梗多元化的差异。那将会是一种特别的激动 —— 一半是兴奋，一半是害怕。
But an important period has ended too. Childhood and youth are important parts of life. You’ll naturally think about what you’re leaving behind. Your friends will come to mind. Your thoughts will inevitably turn to the times you’ve had with them, good and bad. Things that seemed small at the time, like enjoying a soccer game or trip to the movies together, will play on your mind as you look back.
As David Copperfield said in English writer Charles Dickens’ great novel of growing up: “Trifles make the sum of life”.
Will you see these friends again after the summer, or will the end of the gaokao mean you take different paths? Either way, your future will be full of people – old acquaintances and new.
这个夏天之后，你会再见这些朋友吗，还是高考结束也意味着你们分道扬镳？不论如何，你的未来将会遇见不少人 —— 有旧识，也有新交。
In the meantime, the important thing to remember is this: Whether you ace the gaokao, get an average score, or even fail, you have your whole life ahead of you. Make the most of what you have.