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WHU freshmen future planning camp—breaking the ice and getting prepared
Author:Sun Zhiwei  Date:2022-11-25  Clicks:

No one knows better what the Guiyuan playground looked like under the first beam of the morning sun on October 15 than the crew of the Wuhan University (WHU) freshmen future planning camp. On this day, more exuberant than they probably had envisioned, WHU students flocked to the Guiyuan playground to join the camp, participating in the fun games and enjoying the fresh grass in the warm sunshine.

Held by the WHU Youth Development Counseling and Service Center, the WHU freshmen future planning camp primarily aims at familiarizing newcomers with the campus and prepare them for a brand-new lifestyle at WHU. It consists of four parts: Becoming WHU Super Learners, Meeting at Luojia, Planning for Postgraduate Study, and Finding Vocational Interests. Through a series of games that potentially reveal one’s potential career path, participants were provided with rational career advice while getting inspired to develop future plans.


Students busy playing games at the camp

While the games were all carefully designed and tested, two of them proved to be particularly popular among students. The first one, ‘Alternative Life’ adapts the traditional game ‘Monopoly’, changing its contents into different events that students might encounter in their undergraduate years. Within just five minutes into the game, one could bet solely on luck for a wonderful alternative life and harvest an exhilarating imaginative experience. After rolling the huge dice for her last move, Xu Yue, evidently still immersed in her virtual experience of being recommended postgraduate study, told us: “‘Alternative life’ is the best among these games. It feels so good to receive the postgraduate recommendation even in the game.” Contrary to Xu’s thrill, Xiao Xiao, the designer of ‘Alternative Life’ appeared to be far more rational when asked about his perception of the game. “Everything that players have gone through is virtual, you know, even if you get a recommendation in the game. You still need to work hard to achieve results in real life. This is how we want this game to inspire people. It takes effort to realize these scenes. As for being late for the morning class…” He paused and laughed, “Well, you should probably work hard in the opposite way.”


A participant rolling the dice for her final move

Another booth that attracted significant attention was Minefield Escape, a game that requires cooperation between pairs. With one person walking blindfolded and the other guiding him/her, the game not only deepens the friendship between partners but also provides an opportunity for unaccompanied students to acquaint others on the spot. Zeng Yuan, a sophomore from the Hongyi Honor College, found great pleasure in playing the game with his new acquaintance. Initially, I was a little scared to get blindfolded, but when I heard my partner directing me on how to move, I suddenly felt safe and at ease. The game did boost our trust in each other to a certain extent.”


A blindfolded student following the guidance of a volunteer

While many participants came in the bright morning and within an hour left cheerfully with their prize, for the camp crew, the activity was far more lasting and intricate. As the sun gradually shined strongly upon the field toward noon, Wang Liuyang, a volunteer student, was still working hard to ensure everyone’s satisfaction. When asked about what he had gained from volunteering at the camp, Wang smiled proudly with his forehead covered with beads of sweat and said, “The camp enables me to practice my communication skills and make new friends. Seeing others enjoying the game and laughing with their friends, I, too, perk myself up with pleasure. For those who came to the booth unaccompanied, I teamed up with them and introduced them to multiple games. I felt great joy assisting schoolmates while simultaneously having fun myself during the process.”


A volunteer (right) taking a picture with the schoolmate he helped

Attracting numerous students with positive gist and meaningful activities, the freshmen future planning camp undoubtedly turned out to be a great success. The result largely relieved Xue Yiqin, the organizer of the camp and also deputy director of the WHU Youth Development Counseling and Service Center. Upon receiving the task to hold the camp, Xue Yiqin and her team barely had a month to prepare for the overall routine and conceive a plan. Aiming for the best, they stuck together, devoting much private time and effort to go through the process in advance and making several readjustments accordingly. In order to provide more professional career advice to students in need, they invited a counselor from Wuhan University’s Student Career Center as well, to equip the participants with a clearer vision of their future plans and career directions.


Members of WHU Youth Development Counseling and Service Center

The night before the camp, after setting up the booths, Xue Yiqin and her workmates sat together on the grassland, polishing details for the following day with anxiety and also excitement. Luckily, their efforts were rewarded. Quickly after, rather than indulging in immediate success, Xue Yiqin began her reflection upon the improvements to be made next year. Knowing that some students were originally unfamiliar with the camp, she resolved to expand the advertising campaign next time, thus promoting its publicity among international students to get more people involved in the camp and benefit from it.

Photo by Liu Xuan & Xue Yiqin

Edited by Li Tong, Li Jing,Yang Caiiyi, Sylvia, Xi Bingqing


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