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Personal recount Reflective model essay Secondary

Updated: Apr 27

Personal recount/Reflective model essay Secondary

Topic: Write about an unforgettable experience in your life.

Below you will find a Personal recount/Reflective model essay sample for secondary school students. You can use this as inspiration for your writing. Also, do not forget to download the FREE SAMPLE to our O'Level & Secondary Essay Writing Cheat Sheet.


Personal recount/Reflective model essay Secondary
Personal recount/Reflective model essay Secondary

Personal recount/Reflective model essay Secondary

Topic: Write about an unforgettable experience in your life.


In every individual’s life, there comes a point in time when an unforgettable incident will occur. Whether it is positive or negative, it may vary depending on the situation, but it is something that will be remembered forever. For me, it happened in the year 1986. I was nineteen years old. It was two days before the Chinese New Year. The month of February was surprisingly cruel that year. The sun had been beating down on us, and it was hot like the Sahara desert. Grandmother was literally painting the town red with an assortment of Chinese New Year decorations. The woman was a wrinkled prune with hair as white as snow and a body that was deteriorating with age. Despite all that, she was full of beans. "Lou promised he would come this year. Don't be couch potatoes and get moving!" she commanded playfully. With a big smile on her face, I could see she was happy as a lark. I had never seen her so full of beans except on Chinese New Year. It was as if she got a new lease of life. She was always over the moon during the Chinese New Year. Uncle Lou always promises he will come for Chinese New Year. Nine years had passed since he had been at war; he never came. Instead, every year, a letter would arrive with the message that he couldn't make it. Apparently, he settled overseas with a local woman. Despite the constant letdown, Grandmother was cool and would always look forward to seeing him again. As the house buzzed with excitement, little did I know this Chinese New Year would be a life-changing experience for me.


I have a vague memory of Uncle Lou. He looks exactly like my father. They are as alike as two peas in a pod. However, their characters were opposite. They were as different as chalk and cheese. My father always stayed close to family; however, Uncle Lou was more adventurous and had big ambitions. I helped Grandmother with the chores, even though it was boring. However, Grandmother's cookies were to die for. As she decorated the cookies meticulously, she kept on talking about how much Uncle Lou loves her food. "You can't get such delicacies overseas. When he comes, I bet he will be as hungry as a wolf and gobble all the cookies in mere seconds," she chuckled. We were interrupted by my father. "I need you for a chore," he said. "Another chore!" I grumbled and went to assist my father. He handed me an envelope and said, "I need you to put this in our mailbox." With that, he left. The letter was sealed and had an overseas stamp and address. I was burning with curiosity. Why was he asking me to place it in the mailbox? Why would we deliver a letter to ourselves?

Curious as a cat, I secretly decided to open the letter and see what was in it.It was a letter from Uncle Lou. The message was the same as any other year. He couldn't make it. Still, my mind raced. Why place it in our mailbox? Did Dad accidentally pick up the letter and didn’t want to deliver the bad news himself? With burning questions, I went to his room to ask him.My father wasn’t there, but his cupboard was open. He usually doesn't leave it open. However, I had questions that needed answers. I started rummaging through it. That was when I saw something I wish I hadn't seen.Everything became crystal clear to me. It was a yellow certificate. A death certificate. Uncle Lou had died in the war nine years ago.

"What are you doing?" My dad's voice demanded. Seeing the certificate in my hand, he knew it was too late. "Why have you all been lying to Grandma all this while?" My voice croaked from the sorrow brimming in me. "I'm sorry, son. Uncle Lou was a brave man. He did great service to our country. He lived as a warrior and died as one." My dad solemnly said. I could see he thought highly of Uncle Lou. He was as proud as a peacock of his brother's valor. I learned Uncle Lou had died in a bomb blast. There was nothing left of his body. My dad couldn't bring himself to tell Grandma. She would be devastated, and the news might even kill her. She was already 87 years old. "Let her be happy for whatever remaining years she has with us. Why ruin her happiness?" My dad added. I knew what I had to do, even though it broke my heart.

As quick as lightning, I ran to my grandmother, letter in hand. "What is it?" the grandmother asked. "A letter from Uncle Lou! Woohoo!" I feigned excitement. With shaky hands, she tore it open hastily. The big smile on her face turned upside down. "He can't make it," she stated. Tears filled her eyes. Seeing her disappointment, I couldn't hold back my emotions. Noticing my tears, she quickly brightened up. "Never mind, boy, we have much work to do. It's Chinese New Year. Brighten up. If not this year, he will come next year!" she chirped.As I watched her energetically make enough cookies to feed the town, I gave a thumbs up to my dad. Dad did the right thing. Every cloud has a silver lining.Though this makes us sad, the lie gives happiness to Grandma’s life. I learned that there’s always something positive, even in the most awful experiences. At least, every Chinese New Year, my grandmother has something to look forward to.

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