Major -- Choose What I like
Wearing a simple cap and gown, Xue Yifan, 22, looks solemnly into the camera. Standing in front of the big library on campus, her graduation photo is a bit unusual - she is all alone. That’s because Xue is the only paleontology graduate from Peking University this year.
The photo went viral after it was posted online. People are impressed by her determination to pursue the academic degree. She devoted herself to a seemingly dull major instead of jumping on the bandwagon.
But Xue is not the only student with a genuinely academic goal. There are many more students who choose less popular majors and stick to them, simply because they love what they are learning about.
Song Jiazhe, 21, is an audiology student at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. His university offers the only audiology program for undergraduate students in China. About 100 students graduate from the major every year.
“The number of graduates is so small that people seldom even notice the existence of our major,” Song says. But he believes his major is of great importance.
“We take care of newborn babies and seniors,” he says. Checking the hearing of newborn babies and helping seniors with hearing loss are the two major responsibilities audiology graduates shoulder after their graduation.
In order to achieve this goal, Song studies hard and values every opportunity to practice. He spends every vacation interning at hospitals. “I am always the first to arrive and the last to leave, just to get as much real experience as possible,” he says.
Compared with Song, Meng Ziwei’s major seems more entertaining. The 19-year-old is studying golf management at Shenzhen University. It’s a newly launched major, explains Meng. Her department has less than 100 students, who will work as golf coaches and golf club managers once they graduate.
However, the major requires hard work. Meng and her peers not only have classes on business management, but must also attend golf training. “I practice golf three times a week,” she says. Some of her peers even practice on a daily basis. “I love what I’m learning from the bottom of my heart,” she says, “so the tough training is never a problem for me.”
Another student who chose a major based on her interest is Bai Wanyi, a 20-year-old student of paleontology at Shenyang Normal University. She has been a paleontology fan ever since she was in elementary school. “Those dinosaurs just amazed me so much that I decided to study them,” she says. While her peers bought beautiful Barbie dolls, Bai collected rocks. Finally she enrolled in a paleontology program despite resistance from her parents.
“In my eyes, paleontology is not a dull subject that only deals with old rocks. Instead, it studies our past by examining the fossils of ancient life forms,” Bai says. She believes that mastering the present is based on a good understanding of the past.
“I’m sticking to the choice I made and I will further my studies in paleontology after I graduate,” she says.