Tell me about your university life…


Jessica, please tell me more about your university life.

Oh… my university life…
I guess… it’s hard to describe it in just a few words…
so many things to share…
In short… I would say it was wonderful…
For nearly four years…
my life has been exciting…
very fulfilling.

Fulfilling… yes… I see.
Actually, I’m glad you felt this way.
So, how exciting was it?
Tell me…

Well… for me… life is just like a game…
You need to try over and over again…
to make sure you win…
well… you do win…
at least sometimes, right?

Yes… that’s true.

And you will get more experience little by little.
Same thing happens at the university…
when you just start with your studies…
you are not sure…
how are you gonna spend four years?

Yep, good point…

It’s gonna take a long time to think about it.
But… I bet it won’t take this long.
Cause in the first year…
when you have just left your high school,
you get into college…
why not taking one year to enjoy yourself,
do something fun,
do something you don’t have much time to do
in high school?

Right…

So, many students in their first year…
they have no idea what they can do.
For me, the first year was just for fun,
go to see something new,
make some new friends
from all over the country,
and learn something you are really interested in.

You went to school in China, right?

Yes, in Hainan…
It’s in the south of China.
So, the university life…
it’s a new beginning for you,
so you need to make it…
the way you really want it to be.
You are in control of your own life, right?

Right… I see.

Yes, the university won’t make a study plan
for all new students.
Usually you will have a lot of free time
to do your own things.

Heaps of free time… right…
That was my experience too.

And the first year…
for many students…
is the best time to develop yourself.
You can join a community or a club…
find something you are interested in…
You can explore the world
you just knew very little about before.

Yes, in fact…
if you ask me…
I think… this is what the University students…
should be doing… exploring things…
rather than just studying them in the classroom.

Yes, that’s not necessarily a bad idea.
So, in the second year…
when you are used to your school life…
maybe you wanna know why you are here?
Then you will try to figure it out.

Right… Yep, good time to figure it out.

In China… the students will think ahead…
they will think about their future…
they want to study more…
may be getting the master’s degree.
So they start preparing
for the graduate school tests.

Really?
Even long before
they complete their bachelor’s degree?

Yes, and they will ask
their elder sisters and brothers.
They will make a plan for their future studies.
As far as I can see…
the early preparation is good for you.
Just remember…
every time you make a decision…
it won’t necessarily affect you at that time…
but later, it might.
So, you need to think about it carefully.

Yes, I couldn’t agree more.
So, what was your major?

I used to study social work in college…
I learned the social work theory,
methods… and social work practice…
That was my internship…
With many other majors… it’s the same.

Right…

But for us… maybe we used to
study a lot of theory in class…
We need to do more practical work…
So, this is what I did…
I found a few part-time jobs…
Yep, that was one of the best experiences
in my school life…
because it’s really fun.

I like your enthusiasm… seriously, I do.
In my experience…
many of my students…
they talk about their part-time job…
as a burden…
an obstacle they have to overcome.

Right… I see…
Well… my first part-time job was at McDonald’s,
I worked at McDonald’s for almost a year.
Then I decided to take another challenge.
I went to a coffee company… Starbucks…
I worked there for one and a half years…
until I started my internship…
then I quit the job.
I loved both of these jobs…
those companies helped me learn things faster…
And I also made a lot of good friends there…
Now I still keep in touch with them.

All right… So, what happens during the third year?

In the third year…
we have more courses at school,
You need to go to class everyday…
and do a lot of homework.
It’s not easy…
compared with the first two years.

Right… A lot of work to do…

Yep, so it’s actually kind of tough…
also it’s really a test for you.
And it reminds you
that you need to work hard now…
it’s time to stop playing around.

I see.

In Chinese colleges…
students have two tests every semester.
One - in the middle of the school year…
And another one is a final exam.
When you finish the tests…
you are free… it’s a holiday time…
summer or winter.
And the students only take a week
to prepare for their tests.
And yes, that’s enough, I believe.

OK… so the final year of your University studies…
What happens then…

In the fourth year…
I did an internship… for the entire year.
I went to three different areas of Hainan province
and I was working on…
the training plan for the social workers.

Interesting…

Yes, there were four students in our class
working on this plan.
I thought it was a long year for me…
but when I finished it,
it felt like its too soon to leave.
In China… the fourth year…
it’s the internship time…
students choose the place
for their internship…
then they write a thesis.
And that’s all…
The college life is over.

I see.

You know… when you look back…
some might feel regrets,
but some might feel
they had a very rich college life.
Before I went to college,
I had a lot of different ideas in my mind,
Students were free to do whatever they wanted in college.

That’s right… we do enjoy a lot of freedom.

But I personally think…
it’s better to learn as much as you can…
keep learning in college…
try to improve yourself.

Again, I would agree with you 100% on that.

Yes, you can meet someone important in your life,
then you might get into a relationship,
they are all beautiful things in college, right?
Or you can do nothing,
spend time at college with no learning results…
it’s up to you.
In college… most of the time…
it depends on you…
you can decide
how do you use your own time.

Right.
Yes, I really like your positive thinking.
And a positive attitude towards learning…
It’s an excellent quality… I think.

Oh… thanks, I am glad to know…
I could share some of this positive thinking
with other people.
So, that’s the story of my college life…
What’s yours?
Please share with me.

Well… I had all sorts of experiences…
Mostly positive, I guess…
I remember…


Image credits: Pixabay

Like what you read? Give Mikhail Kotykhov a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.