Jessica: It was absolutely awful. The worst experience of my life. My face was as red as a beetroot when I got up because everyone was laughing at me. Three hundred people were laughing at me. Can you imagine? I could have died. I just wanted the ground to open and swallow me up.
My name was the last to be called. That's the problem being called 'Wong'. You are always near the bottom of any list. Anyway. I knew I was nervous. I was shaking as the deputy head read out the names. My knees were knocking. I had rehearsed what to do so many times in front of the mirror in my bedroom. Take a deep breath, walk slowly and smile as I shook the principal's hand. I'd gone over it a million times.
Finally, it was my turn. It felt as if I'd been standing there for hours. Mr Li called out my name. I was the last one left. Everyone was looking at me. Me! I hesitated a moment and started up the stairs. The hall was deadly quiet. You could have heard a pin drop. I went through exactly what to do in my head. Slowly. Walk Slowly. I kept calm, smiled, shook the principal's hand, took my diploma and walked off.
Then, disaster struck! As I was walking away feeling all proud of myself, I caught my foot on the microphone cable and went flying! I fell flat on my face in front of hundreds of people. I heard a gasp from the audience. Our uniform is a loose white skirt, and as I landed headlong on the floor, my skirt came up and there I was showing my underwear. Oh my god!
Then someone started laughing and in a couple of seconds everyone was roaring their heads off. But that wasn't the end of it. The principal took a couple of steps forward to help me and she got her foot caught on the microphone cable and fell on top of me.
There was uproar in the hall. I managed to push her off and stand up. My face was bright red with embarrassment. I was mortified! I burst into tears and ran off the stage down the steps and through the nearest door. I just wanted to die. It was the most awful thing that's ever happened to me. How I'll go back to school on Monday and face my friends, I don't know.
I have no idea what happened to my diploma in all the chaos. I obviously dropped it. I don’t really want to see it again, though, because it would remind me of all this.
My phone hasn't stopped ringing since I got home, but I'm not answering it. I will never forget the sound of all the laugher as I ran off the stage.