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Editor's note: Under the theme of "SCNU & ME", the English Writing Contest has collected over 320 articles from 30 schools and colleges (see results). This column is specially dedicated to the award-winning works.

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By Wu Jiayun

Five years ago, when I was holding the admission letter of South China Normal University, I had no idea that I would spend seven years studying here, nor that it would have such a great impact on my future life. When I first arrived at the Higher Education Mega Center, far away from the bustle of the central city, the campus on the periphery was so quiet and calm. However, walking on the campus was another scene: smiling faces bloomed on the road while athletes sweated with vitality on the track. Everything was cordial which coincided perfectly with my initial vision of SCNU.

Since then, my campus life at SCNU kicked off. Daze and observation seem to be the natural state of every freshman. I was at a loss and somewhat nervous trying to keep up with the pace of SCNU: taking professional courses, participating in association work, etc. During this uneasy period, thanks to my assistant counselor and classmates, I became more courageous and powerful to confront the challenges in the new environment.

After the initial period of adaptation, SCNU opened her warm embrace to me, enabling me to access to a broader platform to examine myself and realize my self-worth. I traveled between the library, classroom and track and field, active in various groups, and participated in various competitions. My future direction would be clearer with every single step and effort. In this seemingly aimless business, I found my interest. In addition to professional courses, I spent most of my time on it, which has become one of the driving forces for me to be a postgraduate, that is, research.

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A view of school library at the University Town Campus 

Contact with research is an accidental opportunity. SCNU has social practice activities held during the summer and winter vacations. After two rounds of interviews, I was lucky enough to join the team of the youth league committee of the faculty of literature and became a member of the research group, which opened up my way to research.

Before we set out, senior students had guided us to make a complete schematic design and risk estimation for the research. However, the seven-day survey in Zhanjiang was still full of unpredictable difficulties. Our first challenge was the heavy mission. Except for the researching task, five of us had to undertake part of the teaching task, which was definitely a huge challenge for us who were still freshmen with little teaching experience. Moreover, we had trouble with questionnaire collection. Without taking the summer vacation into account, it would be extremely difficult for us to distribute and collect a sufficient number of questionnaires, which would adversely affect our follow-up research.

We had an emergency meeting to discuss possible solutions. Fortunately, with the assistance of the local Youth League Committee and the team leader, we settled part of the problem of questionnaire distribution, and finished our teaching task under the guidance of senior students in our team. Nevertheless, the number of valid questionnaires was far below expected. We decided to expand the scope of survey and carry out field research in the town.

The experience of random visits to local residents has become the most impressive memory of this field trip. We walked on the streets of the town in search of respondents. Doubt and rejection were normal at first. We were anxious but still encouraged each other to continue. We gradually calmed down and summed up conversation skills in the constant failure to communicate with strangers confidently. In this way, we struggled to complete the goal of the questionnaire.

A year later, I conducted a new research project with three sophomores as a senior student. This time, we went to Guizhou province. The completely strange environment and language barrier made this adventure far more challenging than the previous time. During the 15 days of the research project, we went through muddy paths, passed by local brick houses, and got help of many enthusiastic local people. We sweated, we cried, we stayed up late to work and set off again in high spirit. We left Guizhou province on a drizzly morning. I gazed at the gradually departing mountains through the window and noticed the determined eyes of the sophomores around me. It must be an excellent gift for us from this journey.

In my later studying career, I would never forget these experiences. Whenever I encounter difficulties in my study or life, I always think of that time running in the streets. We were full of vitality and vigor. We had been hesitating and confused but always persisted, never gave up, bravely kept trying, changing, adapting and finding ways to solve the problems and finally achieve satisfactory results.

It may be the best annotation of SCNU. Those conscientious mentors, those responsible senior students, those freshmen who are sparing no effort to absorb nutrients, they scatter in every corner of our campus, working hard for their own ideals and future. They are committing the school motto of SCNU together spontaneously. In the changeable seasons of SCNU, in the Bauhinia rain, they have created countless glories for our alma mater.

During my sixth year at SCNU, I became a second-grade postgraduate student. Like countless days and nights over the past five years, I am still walking around the campus, surrounded by cheers and laughter. Here every day efforts are made. Here every day hope is harvested. Here every day stories happen. SCNU has witnessed innumerable joys and sorrows, countless growth experiences. What will my next chapter at SCNU be?

Photo by Liang Xiaorong


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