A year ago I was studying in FFMS, Peshawar. It is right next to APSACS (Army Public School & Colleges System) or APS as it’s more popularly known.

Life in FFMS was awesome. I had good friends that treated me like family. But now I am studying in APSACS.

Why did I decide to study in APSACS? The story would have to start from December 16, 2014.

On this day last year, I happily went to school as it was our Sports Week. I was having fun with my friends and we were enjoying ourselves as usual till our Break, which was after the fifth period.

As we were playing during the break, firing started suddenly. Our teacher came to us and told us to get inside. We were surprised at first, because we thought it was firing from a wedding nearby. And so, we were amused at first. Not knowing what was actually happening, we just kept on making jokes against our school.

But when the firing became heavier, and louder, we realized that it was a serious matter. When we asked our teacher what was going on, we were told about the APS attack .

Our teachers asked the senior students, who used to go home by foot, to just leave and go back to their homes. They called the parents of the rest.

I also went out with my friends. I saw APS students outside our school who were really scared. A few of them were injured as well. I got very scared myself. I just rushed back home.

After I reached home, the situation even got worse. And it kept going on for the whole night.

I was really disturbed for the next few weeks after seeing the injured students. It took a really long time for me to recover from the shock.

Our school was off for a month or so. When I went back to school, everyone was talking about the APS attack for a week. But then eventually everything got back to normal. I continued my life as it was before the attack and passed my 10th grade exams.

After the results were announced, it was time for me to join a college. I observed that many people were trying to help APSACS return to normalcy by taking admission there. They tried to ensure that its total strength returns to what it was before the attack. Everyone wanted to provide hope for the survivors. That’s why my friends and I joined APSACS.

But while I joined APSACS thinking that I would give the students new hope, everyone there was so bold and confident, for a bit I thought maybe I had gone there to get more strength for myself.

I can never forget my first few days at APSACS. They were some of the most encouraging and motivating moments of my life. Joining APSACS was possibly the best decision my friends and I have ever made.

I am proud to be a part of this institution. I hope I can learn more inspiring lessons here.

I just hope that APSACS keeps progressing as it is now. The martyrs of APSACS are the real heroes that gave everyone the strength to never give up no matter what.

May their souls rest in peace.