College. The very thought sparks our imagination to life as our ideas of the perfect world flood through our mind. As our minds reel from the explosion of colour ‘college’ triggers, we can’t help but wonder about how great moving on will be, and how joyful the moment when we leave home will be.

     This week, we travelled to Qing Hua in an attempt to enrich our experience of life in China. Colleges have traditionally been places of change, so we decided to pick one in hopes of discovering where China is headed in the future. Despite the energy and conviction with which we tackled this pursuit, our attempts to sneak a peak into China’s future by interviewing its youths proved futile.

     While surveying the land in hopes of finding a hidden cache of unsuspecting youngsters, we came across a vast stretch of land, housing two statues at opposite ends of the field. They were erected in such a way that we certain we had uncovered monuments of great cultural significance. We also quickly picked up on the fact that the groups of people surrounding each statue were at opposite ends of the age spectrum, university-wise. The students encircling the statue of a young bird stretching its wings were practically all freshmen. They described to us the importance they felt this statue held for them. All having just left home, they believed that the depiction of the young animal excited to set off on its own related to their own situation, as they were young kids who were fresh of their “nests”. They felt the monument was an auspicious sign for what was to come for them, and so they gravitated towards it almost subconsciously. The three young SPAS reporters also felt that they could identify with the youngsters’ feelings about college, and how it was the beginning of the pursuit of happiness.

     The other statue on the other end of the field, however, was surrounded by students who were finishing their last year of school, and getting ready to face the new world. The statue portrayed a baby bird sitting with its mother, looking up into the sky. After interviewing the young men and women surrounding this statue, we detected almost a completely different attitude toward life in comparison to how the freshmen viewed it. These senior students had trudged through the rigors of university life only to find that what they longed for was right back at home where they started. They told us they remembered their freshmen years and the narrow vision they looked upon the world with. During their trials at college, though, they had managed to shed off such petty obstructions and managed to gain a true perspective of life. While the three SPAS student reporters could not grasp the message the senior college kids were trying to convey, the three SPAS supervising and very much older teachers did, and chided the three SPAS students for not seeing the wisdom of the fourth year college students’ words. The three SPAS students held their ground though, insisting that there was nothing of value at home and that all the riches of the world could only be found outside of the nest. With both sides unwilling to give up any ground, it was a long, loud ride back to SPAS.


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