Chapter 293 – Neglecting Rest and Meals

At this point, Lu Xia and Sun Shengnan were originally listening to everyone’s discussion from behind. Then, Sun Shengnan quietly asked Lu Xia, “Which university are you planning to apply for?”

Lu Xia responded directly, “Definitely one in the capital city. Since I’m unsure about my abilities, I have to apply to even the slightly lower-ranked ones.”

Sun Shengnan nodded with some envy in her eyes. “You and Educated Youth Jiang are both smart. You’ll definitely get in, and once you do, you can return to the city.”

Lu Xia smiled and asked, “What about you? What are your plans with Educated Youth Liu?”

“We’re planning to apply to universities near Liu Jun’s hometown. I don’t want to go back to my hometown. Liu Jun’s hometown is a third-tier city, but there are a few universities there. The admission scores probably won’t be too high.”

Lu Xia nodded, “That sounds good. I hope everyone gets accepted.”

“I hope so,” Sun Shengnan sighed, lacking confidence.

Meanwhile, after discussing amongst themselves and sharing information about different universities, everyone had their own plans.

Most of them were applying to universities in their hometowns. No one dared to reach too far and apply to exceptionally famous ones, fearing the possibility of missing the chance if they didn’t get in.

However, Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo didn’t hesitate and directly applied to Peking University.

Su Man applied to Tsinghua University, and Gu Xiangnan applied to Beijing University of Political Science and Law.

Upon learning this, others looked at them with a kind of admiring astonishment. No one expected them to be so bold!

They had directly applied to some of the most renowned universities in the country. Did they have that much confidence in themselves?

Could it be that they aimed too low?

Among the others, Zhao Hua also showed confidence by putting Peking University as his first choice. Knowing that Lu Xia and the others had applied there as well, he even joked that they would be future alumni.

Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo smiled but didn’t say anything.

After the applications, the atmosphere for the educated youths became even more tense. They worked tirelessly day and night, almost to the point of neglecting rest and meals.

When Lu Xia saw Shen Qingqing again, he was almost taken aback by her appearance.

The previous Shen Qingqing had appeared thin, but with age, she had grown taller and gained more work points, leading to better food and some flesh on her face.

But now, it was surprising how she had become thin again in such a short span of time.

Looking at her, Lu Xia felt a pang of sympathy. “How did you become this thin? Even if you’re studying, you should balance work and rest. You can’t suffer like this!”

Shen Qingqing smiled and explained, “I’m different from the others. Everyone else had graduated from high school before going to the countryside, or they went to the countryside after high school. When I went to the countryside, I had just finished the first year of junior high. I hadn’t learned much, and my foundation is weak. I have to start from scratch.”

Lu Xia understood her situation and didn’t know how to advise her. He just said, “Regardless, you have to take care of your health. If it doesn’t work out this time, there will be another chance.”

Shen Qingqing nodded, “I know, Sister Lu Xia. I just want to give it my best shot. I don’t want to stay here forever.”

Lu Xia sighed, “Alright, then give it a try. You’ll succeed.”

“Okay.”

Afterward, the two of them discussed recent events in the village related to the college entrance exam.

Several educated youths who had been married for years also wanted to take the exam, but their families rejected the idea, especially for the female educated youths who already had children. How could they be assured that they wouldn’t leave?

Some of these individuals resigned themselves to their fate, while others were arguing with their families. Similar incidents were happening frequently in the village.

Male educated youths were somewhat better off. The villagers weren’t as worried about the possibility of a university-educated husband abandoning his family. In fact, having a husband with a college education was seen as enviable.

This was the difference villagers had between men and women – men could have talents, while women were limited to being homemakers and mothers.

This disparity between men and women reflected the villagers’ traditional mindset. In this remote countryside, many people still held onto these feudal ideas, which was indeed quite lamentable.

*

Chapter 294 – Going to the County in Advance

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“I heard that Educated Youth Zhuang originally wanted to take the exam too, but she got pregnant. The Chen family didn’t allow it and even beat her. So, she gave up on the idea.”

“Zhuang Hongmei? She’s pregnant and her in-laws still beat her?”

Shen Qingqing sighed, “Yeah, I think even her in-laws don’t think highly of her.”

Lu Xia listened quietly without expressing any opinion.

The atmosphere at the educated youth spot was intense in terms of studying. Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo occasionally joined others to study together. Whenever someone had difficulty, they would help explain the concepts.

At this point, everyone realized that there was a reason behind Lu Xia’s decision to apply to a top university like Peking University. They were not on the same level at all. Compared to them, they were like elementary school students.

The educated youths were both envious and jealous.

But once they realized their capabilities, more people came to them with questions.

Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo helped answer questions most of the time. With frequent interactions, even Kang Kang started to understand.

When someone came to their house, he would exclaim, “Use equations!”

The visitor would be puzzled, and Lu Xia couldn’t help but laugh. “You little guy, you know quite a lot. You even know how to use equations. If there were no age restrictions, are you planning to take the college entrance exam too?”

Kang Kang put on a serious expression and said, “Solve, simple!”

“Hahaha!” Lu Xia found it amusing.

Approaching the college entrance exam, the Jiang family was worried that if they asked too many questions, the two might get nervous. Therefore, they stopped asking and instead sent various nutritional supplements to help them take care of their health while studying.

Lu Xia had almost finished reviewing and was now solidifying her knowledge. Seeing how Sun Shengnan had to study while taking care of her child, she suggested that Sun Shengnan send her child over so they could take care of her together.

However, Sun Shengnan understood the critical period they were in. While Kang Kang was a bit older and responsible, Zhen Zhen wasn’t, and she would cause disturbances if ignored for a while. Therefore, she declined the offer.

Lu Xia sighed upon hearing this but didn’t push it. She observed Sun Shengnan’s increasingly weary appearance and the dark circles under her eyes. Feeling a bit sorry for her, she sent over some of the nutritional supplements her family had sent her.

Sun Shengnan accepted the gesture, smiling and saying, “I’m fine, don’t worry. Liu Jun will help take care of Zhen Zhen too. We’ll take turns, and it should be manageable.”

Lu Xia sighed with relief, “That’s good to hear!”

As the exam approached, Lu Xia and the others decided to go to the county a day early. Since the distance was far, they were worried that traveling on the day of the exam might not be feasible. They planned to stay at an inn during the exam period.

Before leaving, Lu Xia left Kang Kang with Aunt Cuiyun, having arranged this in advance.

Kang Kang had become quite sensible by now. He understood that his parents were facing a very important exam and obediently stayed behind.

As they parted, Kang Kang made a special remark, “Dad, Mom, good luck!”

Seeing his small and mature demeanor, Lu Xia felt a pang of emotion and wanted to cry. She couldn’t help but turn back and hug him before finally leaving.

Jiang Junmo, standing beside her, felt uncomfortable as well. He patted her shoulder and reassured her, “We’ll be back soon after the exam.”

Lu Xia sighed, “It’s the first time Kang Kang and I have been apart for so many days. I wonder if he’ll adapt.”

“Don’t worry, Kang Kang is very sensible.”

“It’s precisely because he’s so sensible that I’m sad.”

Lu Xia decided not to dwell on this topic any longer to avoid feeling worse.

Once they arrived in the county, after settling in, they visited the exam venue in advance.

The next day, everything was ready. The college entrance exam officially began.

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