To any high school students in China, the mysterious university could have been a wonderland. Thanks to the large population in this country, the most frequent words a student suffering from tremendous peer pressure can hear, from their parents, should be:
Study harder, and you shall get relief once after you enter the university.
Suffer studying now, and happy playing as you wish in the college!
Yes. Wonderland. A wonderful land with no pressure, no homework, and full 60/40 days of summer/winter holidays!
Thank god. Although I didn’t have experiences in college, but I deeply believe that if there is something too good to hear, either the speaker is trying to hide something, or it is simply a lie.
As it turned out, very shortly after the semester began, classmates in my qzone(a social function provided by Tencent QQ. It’s like twitter) went mad.
Yeah. Fuck that.
But we are not discussing that so early. Let’s begin from the very beginning. The summer. After the examination in June, I went completely calm. Every day, there are merely three things that I do other than eating and sleeping.
Games. Books. Violin.
Yes. I bought the Peking University Advanced Mathematics Textbook. Obviously, I didn’t make it through. The preface went worn out, but except for the 10 pages in the beginning, the book was as new as just produced.
My violin teacher tried to teach me the famous violin concerto “Butterfly Love”. I have just started learning violin for 4 years. However because of my experiences in piano, learning violin became much easier, and I had been progressing quickly. The teacher, Mr.G, an experienced violin soloist, an expert in the “Butterfly Love”, tried to teach the song before I go to college, so that I can perform. There was another reason that he was going to be in his sixties, and he was planning to retire, to live in Nanjing living with his daughter and his granddaughter. So I was the last student he had.
Sadly, I had planned a trip to Zhejiang. After the vacation, I got worn out, and the procrastination went again. I had only learned the first two pages, which became a great, eternal pity. We’ll talk about that later in Chapter 3.
Among the first three things, it turned out that the only thing that I persisted in is Game. Sad but true.
I still remember the day the admission result was published. At first, the scores of the exam was published. Each student has a few choices, and according to the pre-submitted results of the choices, universities start to enroll students from the top to the end- until the headcount is full. Such process indicate that you shall not be only achieving a high score, but also be sure that you outperform a bunch of others.
That was a normal morning. The score was to publish at 8.30 a.m., but at that time I was suffering from playing too much games previous night, hence I was trying to have another unprotected sleep. Then the voice of my father went from their bedroom opposite to mine.
Then the next scene in my memory was at the noon, having lunch, and he told me that I ranked around 1400th of the Jiangsu province, and that might lead me into Nanjing University.
Afterwards, a long-long boring summer holiday went with zero achievements. Without a pressure I hardly achieve anything though. It was something I failed to realize until the end of my sophomore.
The semester each year in Nanjing University begins on 1st September. But for each new comers, an additional so-called ‘military training’ is mandatory, so the day of check-in was shifted to an earlier date. The day of report was miserable. That was a crowded and hot summer day. Although it was in the end of summer, the power of the sun remained horrifying. The heavy luggage made the situation worse. If there should be anything even worse, it shall be the location of my room: 6th floor without an elevator! After great effort we managed to set our new home in this “wonderland”, and therefore, became the new immigrants of this mysterious land.
Although it was called military training, it was not indeed sending you to the army to become a soldier. It was, originally, bit of more like a pre-education of discipline and self-controll, although actually it was merely boring standing and suffering under the sun. Fortunately, the drillmaster was kind enough to have us a 15 minute break each 1.5 hours, then we could sit and talk.
During that period the first key point of my 4 years’ life took place. At the very beginning, the counselor(teacher that do not teach but help students with their life in campus) Mr S asked me to his office. When I arrived, there had been 7 students inside already. It turned out that he went through the files of the students to be enrolled in Software College, and chose 8 out of 200+ students who had previous monitor experiences, to act as temp monitor during the military training. Then I took on the duty and later on, I became the monitor in the software college through out the 4 years.
In fact being a monitor has some more potential benefits. During that period I had quite good relationships with the drillmaster, acting as assistant of him. There had been a tradition that each year in September, senior students will arrange themselves to buy beverages and wander in the campus. They walk pass one ‘platoon’ after another, giving them to junior students from the same hometown. From time to time they might give the beverage to the drillmaster, but they had restrictions not to receive things from students. In fact even drillmaster himself didn’t know how to solve that issues, for they themselves are merely boys in his twenties just as us! Hence it is not hard to know that I consumed all the beverages…
One day when we were sitting in a break, I met with a classmate of mine, Y. Y was an art student, and he was also enrolled as a horn player of NJU Symphony Orchestra(An art student is enrolled with a discount of enrollment bar, if he passed their own test). He told me that since I play violin I should try the orchestra as a non-art student.
“But how? There are so many people playing violin, I don’t think I stand a chance.” I answered.
“You’ve think too much. If the situation is really what you said, then why is the NJUSO always eager trying to seek violin players?”
“But there are so many students and there have to be some talented players.”
“To be honest, most of them suck.”
That day I hesitated for while, but finally I signed up for the orchestra. How can a player’s experience be fulfilled if not even played in an orchestra once?
Fortunately, though not the best, I passed and became a part of second violin. Moreover, I got a little privilege in that I can go to the rehearsal room in the evening so that I don’t need to attend the boring lectures keeping mumbling the grandiloquence of the school.
According to the comments by my roommates(“Some are fair, but the others are bullshit.”), my choice couldn’t be better.
The day before the last day we went to try firing a rifle. The rifle was type-56 semi-auto rifle, a classical Soviet-SKS-like rifle used by PLA in 1960s. We can fire 5 shots each. I was more than excited: I have played COD for the entire summer…
But it turned out that all the shots flew nowhere, which reveals a truth: game deceives. The rifle was heavy. The recoil was huge. And you cannot easily take out an enemy in 50-100m. And moreover as a normal guy, it is lucky enough for you to safely shoot out 5 bullets without harming yourself.
Semi-auto? I was almost semi-deaf!
After the training, true suffers came. The coursed. The exams. The familiar peer pressure. It was at that time that everyone start to know that college is not a wonderland.
At least from my perspective, the quote from parents can only be truth if modified as follows:
Study harder, then you can study to death in college!
Suffer studying now, and happy suffering more in the college!
But after it went to the third year, I gradually realized that suffers in studying might be the easiest. It was the suffers in future and prospects of value that make us suffer even more. Because suffer in study might be solvable, but elses are not.
Just get ready for the storms.