Coming of Age of the New-generation Freshmen at Chinese Universities

November 6, 2018
Editor: Qiao Ziyu

A series of recent reports on freshmen students at Tsinghua University in Beijing have concentrated on the various aspects of their lives, particularly because they are the new generation students who were primarily born after 2000.

Tsinghua enrolled more than 3,800 students this year, including over 300 international students, and over 50 students from China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. In total, some 2,784 freshmen are 18-year-olds from the mainland.

"More than three quarters of the freshmen were born after the year 2000, so they are really the new generation of the 21st century," president Qiu Yong of Tsinghua University said at the Freshmen Welcome Ceremony for 2018 freshmen.

Unlike the students that preceded them, this batch of youngsters is the most fashionable, confident, individualistic, and daring to spend.

What Do They Have in Their Bags?

Electric balance cars that cost about 2,000 yuan have become popular around the country. Some dormitories are far from teaching buildings, so such vehicles have become the equipment choice for the freshmen, according to one report.

"I visited the campus, and I found it suitable to get around on the electric self-balancing vehicles, as there are no cars and the ground is even," said a student by the surname of Xie.

"In recent years, with the development of intelligent mobility tools, the sales volume of products like electric scooters, electric self-balancing vehicles and other products increased significantly during the school seasons," said one manufacturer.

Meanwhile, statistics provided by Tmall, a popular internet shopping website, says portable projectors have topped the popularity list, with the sales volumes reaching 10,000.

The tiny projector, the size of a mobile phone, can create a 100-inch screen, when it is connected to wifi.

With the improvement of living standards, the requirements of college students for new term equipment has undergone a transformation from simple seeking for material satisfaction to the pursuit of quality of goods.

According to data provided by one agency, the spending on  the new semester equipment for university freshmen varies with their economic conditions, household incomes and personal consumption mentality. Some 20 percent of the college students from non-rural areas said they had spent slightly more than 10,000 yuan purchasing goods for the new semester.

"I spent 9,300 yuan on a mobile phone and 1,500 yuan on a suitcase," explained undergraduate Li Yi.

Moreover, some universities also provided more communication opportunities for students to better adapt to the new environment, which can also help them intensify their sense of identity.   
     
Outlook on Life

From the traditional perspective, the national college entrance exam is often regarded as a vital test that determines a student's fate.

However, with the development of the times and the diversity of study choices, such traditional conception seem outdated among the younger generation.

Referring to the differences from the students enrolling prior to them, some freshmen from Xidian University said they are more optimistic and have less psychological burden.

"We have been exposed to electronic devices since childhood, whilst in the age of information explosion, our worldview has been affected as well," said freshman Zhou Zixuan.

"The older generations of 80s and 90s were more exposed to TV when they were young, but information received that way was not as varied as that via the internet. The young generation who were born after 2000 have a more diversified outlook on life than their senior counterparts," Zhou added.

Moreover, with the widespread of the internet, its abundant resources can help younger students better satisfy their interests.

For these young freshmen who have just entered the university, it is also the beginning of a journey that leads them to achieve their dreams.

(Source: cnwomen.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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