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Class of 2017, you’ve reached the finish line
Author:Raju Maskey  Date:2017-06-21  Clicks:

It’s June again, a time to celebrate the achievements of these young freshly minted graduates. Their faces are glowing like sunshine and these rollicking students are smiling wholeheartedly, not merely simpering, as they pose for photographs at every possible location on campus. It’s also a moment of immense pride for their parents who had been raring to see them in that coveted graduation garb-silky gowns and dangling tassels. They are pampering their kids with graduation gifts. The graduates are falling short of words to express their emotions. For teachers it’s just another batch of students leaving school but they have connected emotionally with every graduating class. Their roles as guides helping the students see the other end of the tunnel and assuaging their curiosity. The students have irrevocably transformed from disillusioned naive teenagers to mature self-driven adults emanating a youthful verve.

Education is not a prerogative of the elite. It’s a human right. Wuhan University has played a pivotal role in making education accessible to all. Underprivileged students from rural nooks and crannies and from around the world have been given a chance to pursue their dreams. Like every year, students from varied strata are graduating in large numbers. Similar to how colors conflate in a rainbow, the students have shown admirable rapport, transcending any diversity.

After crossing the finish line of this four-year-long marathon, they looked back and realized that time has passed in a jiffy. They have to leave behind their favorite spots and memories back here in WHU. Graduating senior Fang Siyuan, majoring in translation and interpretation, who will be heading to Columbia Law School, shared, “I love the serenity of Luojia Mountain. I won't hesitate to say that it is my favorite part of the campus. The mountain presents different shades in different seasons. It sings praise of youth and tenderness with emerald green in the spring. You can breathe its tenderness in the air. I often go for a run or take a long walk around the hiking trail to let go of all my worries.” She added further, “If I am coming back to WHU, I will definitely take a walk in Luojia Mountain again.”

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Fang Siyuan (second from the right)

Outside of class, the graduates engaged in several extracurricular activities as well. Another student majoring in translation, Liu Li, along with her three friends took part in a dubbing contest in her freshman year. She said, “We did dubbing in the Croods, an animated feature film. Our team got a satisfactory score in the end”.

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Liu Li

Song Zihan, majoring in finance, spoke of the changes she has witnessed. “I witnessed the construction and reconstruction of several buildings on campus such as the Wanlin Museum and Memorial Gateway. Our university is getting more beautiful every single day. Students have become more internationalized. They’re doing more cultural exchange and getting involved with more cross-cultural activities.” She will also be leaving for Columbia University this fall. She spoke about the changes she wishes to see in the near future, “Wuhan University could be better-known to more people around the world. The infrastructure and facilities inside our campus should get better.”

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Song Zihan

One sad thing about leaving college is that the graduates are going to take separate paths to reach their goals. College cliques are eventually going to fall apart. College friends and roommates who have stuck with each other along this journey of four long years, will no longer be together—at least physically. These friends were always up for a stroll down Cherry Avenue, late night take-away meals from the food carts, binge-watching classic movies, or being cheered up by a single text from their bestie when they were grappling with exam stress. Their bond has only grown stronger. So, before they bid each other goodbye, they are scrapbooking precious memories with their closely knitted friends and gathering memorabilia, something to hold on to until they reconvene at the college reunions mellowed by age and experience.

It’s wishful thinking to assume that a perfect GPA score is a cakewalk. The graduating students have sat through countless exams to test their wits and rack up their scores. Even those who have slumped have learned valuable life lessons from these setbacks. It’s not only the grades that define them but also their acts of kindness. What sets these graduates apart from other students is their gratitude and proclivity towards charity works. Wu Jiamin, who is intending to take a gap year after colleges has volunteered at a Christian charity warehouse in the US, helping them pack donated clothes. She shared what she had learnt from it, “I was moved by ordinary American’s strong sense of social responsibility and their enthusiasm for charity.  Even families in poor class will take part in setting up and managing their non-government organization. It was impressive. Although now there are more and more young Chinese taking part in volunteering, managing and organizing, NGOs in China are still not mature. I hope that one day Chinese civic awareness can be as strong as American.”

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 Wu Jiamin

Their endless plodding has finally borne fruitful results. For many, this sense of achievement is akin to reaching the peak of Everest.  College life has been like putting together pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. Their teachers rightfully deserve all the accolades for slipping out cues to where the next piece would fit. Some teachers use unconventional methods to help their students have a better grasp of the subject. Wu Siying who will be pursuing international relations in Nanjing University, talked about one of her professors who used to take them to an exhibition of Italian Opera at the Hubei Provincial Museum, “Our Advanced English professor believes that English-major student should have a wider horizon and a better eye, not only learning the English language, but also knowing the Western culture. So when she heard about the opera exhibition, she immediately made up her mind to take us there, even if she might lose some class hours.”

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Wu Siying

A good beginning makes a good ending. A chain of events starting from the day they first set foot on campus has culminated to this big day when they will be awarded the coveted WHU degree. They are going to shape the future of China and the world in many subtle ways. Their success in future endeavors will raise the bar for their juniors. They might be pounding the pavement for a while but no matter how hard it gets, they will pull themselves together and persist.

There is no dead on estimation on how many of these graduates will turn out to be millionaires, but what is certain is that they will go on to live meaningful lives. As graduates from one of the finest universities in China, they are bound for a rewarding career.

Congratulations to all the students of the amazing class of 2017!

Photo credits: Fang Siyuan, Liu Li, Song Zihan and Wu Jiamin

 

Edited by: Sun Jingyi, Edmund Wai Man Lai & Hu Sijia

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