Editor's Note: The third SCNU English writing contest, themed "Telling China's Story", ended with 422 entries from 33 different schools. We congratulate all prize winners on their outstanding performance. Awarded winners have been announced (see results), and all winning entries will be published in this column.


By Cao Jiafu

What is South China Normal University (SCNU) like? My answer covers two keywords——young people and the future. This is the SCNU story I want to tell you, a simple story that takes place in front of the SCNU library every day before 8 a.m. What you need to do is just have a look at its entrance. Here, you will have an opportunity to better understand SCNU from a unique perspective—— the long line in front of the library at 8 o'clock. From this line, you can see many young people and the future. 


Students line up in front of the school library at 7:20 a.m.

SCNU is a university full of young people who are thirsty for knowledge. One of SCNU's mottos is plain living and hard struggle. At 7:20 a.m., when passing the SCNU library, a line of students comes into your view. Before the library opens, there are already so many students who line up in front of the entrance, with their breakfast or a cup of milk tea or coffee with them. At 7:40 a.m., the line makes the first turn. Later on, at 7:50 a.m, the line makes a second turn. Finally, at 7:55 a.m., the line forms a circle. Can you believe it? This is not a special day. Students in SCNU come to the library early. This is a campus scene you can see every day, every morning.

SCNU is a university where reading is not only an intellectual pursuit but an emotional and spiritual one. Every day when I pass the library, I wonder: why do so many students come to the library so early? Students in SCNU love reading. However, there is no need for them to wait here so early. It is not because of the limited number of seats, because when I come to the library at 8:45 a.m., I can still find a seat easily. It is not because of exam preparation either, because it is a long-term phenomenon, not a short-term scene. So, I think, without a true motivator deep in their hearts, they cannot stick to it for so long in the early morning. And the motivator I have found is their belief in the future.

The real fuel behind the long line comes from the future. They are young people who believe in the future. They believe they can make their own contribution to the future. So, they welcome the morning with open arms in front of the library. Reading books is a kind of investment in the future. If you do not believe in the future, you will not be glad to involve yourself in books. A person who is willing to go to the library before it opens is bound to have a firm belief for the promising future. They believe in the future so they give their hearts completely to knowledge and do not need to worry about something other. There is much to be done in SCNU. There is full of opportunity in China. Tomorrow, the innovation, the creativity, the imagination will all come from them.

We do not need to wait so early, but when we choose to wait, we are not merely waiting. It has other meanings. In my view, that is the passion of young people, that is the belief in the future.


SCNU motto: plain living and hard struggle

SCNU is a university full of young people and promising future. This is the SCNU characteristic and also the SCNU spirits. Here is a place full of young people who desire for knowledge, and who believe in the future. In this place, you will get passion, you will be motivated, and you will also believe in the future. And, I also want to say, not only in SCNU, but also in most of the universities in China, we have such hopeful young people. By extension, these universities like SCNU, where high-layer talents gather together, are important windows for you to see China. It is so many hopeful young people that make China today and will make China tomorrow.

I love SCNU because there are many hopeful young people. I think SCNU is so great because you can feel the future here. These diligent students, I think, are not merely driven by knowledge. They are future-driven and dreams-driven. Many students, be they freshmen or senior students, be they female or male, look on the bright side of the future.                          

SCNU, a university of young people, a university of the future. This is the SCNU I want to show you. And this is the most impressive SCNU story I want to share with you.

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