Graduation season is upon us, and that means there is a mix of feelings in the air at high schools all over China. Many are cramming for the dreaded “Gaokao”, while others celebrate their final month in style.
To high-school students, the final year is really a tough time; the Gaokao, or University Entrance Examination, representing an important part of their life that decides which university they will attend. The last semester is a time of review as to everything they have learned in the past years. With this overwhelming workload, most high schoolers are recluses in their classrooms, working under piles of books and trying their best to solve questions for the Gaokao that are impossible for adults.
No wonder some go a little crazy. It is relatively common today to see soon-to-graduate seniors who have dyed their hair orange or pink, while some even shave their hair completely to welcome the most enjoyable summer vocation, the one no longer constricted by school rules.
However, for the few lucky students who have already been accepted by the universities, this is a happy time of relaxation. “I will learn to drive a car and cook in the future months before university life”, one lucky, high-school pupil in Jinling High School told The Nanjinger. Nevertheless, to these students, the new life is totally different from the daily routine to which they are accustomed. This summer, they must learn to adapt.
And get used to a little heartbreak, too. It is said the saddest part about this season is the saying of farewell to classmates. Students are, by and large, very thankful to their friends, fighting for the same goal and encouraging each other to quickly adapt to new environments. Now, all will leave in different directions. Xu Changjing, who graduated last year, told The Nanjinger, “Friendship is always seen as the most lasting part of high-school life”.
Each campus itself also becomes an especially interesting place at this time of year, not least on account of the numerous activities taking place. While there are always students taking graduation photos and enjoying their last time together, at Nanjing University of the Arts, it is also a big time for students to showcase their creations. Over the past week, students have put on display their paintings, sculptures, and even a dance, song or dramatic performance.
This year, the graduation showcase, that started on 20 May, took to the road. In some theatres, students cooperated with various artists and professionals to stage their shows. Also on 20 May, Nanjing University of the Arts put on a Fashion show in the Dabao’en Temple that was open to the public and said to be “amazing”.
Above all, graduation season for students in Nanjing and all over the country is a vivid one; busy or plain relaxed, happy or with sorrow and pity. The hard times spent studying are soon forgotten; a new life for these high schoolers is all they now excitedly talk about.