What is the meaning of university? Why do we go to university? How to enjoy the journey of university? These are the main issues that Professor Zhou Yezhong, the vice president of Wuhan University, addressed to freshmen on the Meiyuan Playground on September 22nd. At this welcome ceremony, the vice president shared his personal experience with the new WHUers and provided his suggestions on a meaning campus life.
President Zhou’s speech began with the comparison between university and high school to illustrate the essence of the former. According to President Zhou, a university is a kind of time-tested organization where old traditions and new ideas coexist. This organization is also a cradle of talent and great minds. President Zhou summarized the essences of university as learned masters, infinite truth, open minds and broad perspectives.
Why do we go to university? There are a thousand answers in a thousand people's eyes. According to President Zhou, the enriched life experience is the goal to achieve during this period. University attendance symbolizes not a tool to make a fortune but a further target to become a useful member of society with good character and solid expertise.
President Zhou emphasized that it is of vital importance to possess merits and good character. Freshmen should establish the correct values and outlook on the world, and in life in order to grow into a person with healthy personality, confidence, respect and social responsibility. These powerful traitscan inspire individuals cohere a nation, compete well in the global arena and even influence cultural development.
In addition to the acquisition of knowledge, we go to university for a higher level of cultural cultivation. President Zhou requested that freshmen should devote themselves to self-cultivation without extra reminder from others. Moreover, disciplined freedom and consideration for others are also required. This coincides with Wuhan University’s mission for talent cultivation—all for the development of students.
Then how to make campus life meaningful?
“University is by no means a playground, a cozy nest, a safe box nor a kindergarten, but a start for study”, President Zhou began answering as he gave four suggestions for students. Firstly, get rid of negative and sluggish thoughts. Secondly, set up aims and ambitions. Then give priority to study with high concentration and effective note-taking instead of falling victim to smartphones. Improve reading skills through extensive reading, browsing and selective reading. Develop your thinking capacity and try to convert the thoughts in the mind into word on paper. Lastly, develop the ability of critical, logical and visual thinking.
In the end, President Zhou expected freshmen to be reliable and useful members of society with bright and passionate minds.
(Rewritten by Zhang Qiyue, edited by Xiao zhenlai, Shen Yuxi, Hu Sijia &Edmund Wai Man Lai)