We’ll re­mem­ber al­ways grad­u­a­tion day

► For­eign­ers share grad­u­a­tion cus­toms from their home coun­tries

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITY PANORAMA - The story was writ­ten by Li Yangyichuan.

Scores from China’s na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­am­i­na­tion, known as gaokao, were re­leased re­cently, which touched the hearts of mil­lions of stu­dents and their fam­i­lies. As the new­com­ers are about to start their col­lege life, June is also a time to see off grad­u­ates.

Re­cently, uni­ver­si­ties around China have held grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies, dur­ing which stu­dents posted on their so­cial me­dia ac­counts their feel­ings, mem­o­ries, ex­pec­ta­tions and pho­tos dressed in bac­calau­re­ate gowns to re­mem­ber this mo­ment. Apart from China, other coun­tries and re­gions also cel­e­brate their grad­u­a­tion sea­son this month. The Global Times in­ter­viewed five for­eign­ers in Shang­hai about their grad­u­a­tion cus­toms.

Like lit­er­a­ture, the sto­ries hap­pened in var­i­ous na­tions fo­cus on unique char­ac­ter­is­tics. How­ever, they gen­er­ally point to the same top­ics and, in this case, your ef­forts and the peo­ple who ac­com­pa­nied you over the past four years are al­ways the key words for a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony.

The main re­spon­si­bil­ity in col­lege is to learn every­thing, and teach­ers play a sig­nif­i­cant role in this process. Mindey from Lithua­nia gave a sin­cere thanks to his pro­fes­sors and up­dated his web­site about his dream to help ev­ery­one ful­fill their po­ten­tial.

For Maisie Gil­lett from the UK, the fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tion was quite un­for­get­table be­cause it is an essence and dream of fouryears of great ef­forts. Bo Bren­nan from the US said his par­ents at­tended his grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony and had a meal to­gether. Brit­tany who is also an Amer­i­can said some­times fam­ily or friends give flow­ers or money.

Four years is a short pe­riod of time. Peo­ple learn pro­fes­sional knowl­edge, know and make friends, par­tic­i­pate in sev­eral in­ter­est­ing clubs, then they fin­ish this jour­ney. How­ever, four years is too long to erase all the mem­o­ries from minds be­cause too many things have hap­pened in this life jour­ney about love, friend­ship and a sense of achieve­ment for your study or work.

True sen­ti­ments

Ab­dalla Mah­moud from Egypt, who was en­thu­si­as­tic about fit­ness and kept a good body shape, told the Global Times he used to be a cham­pion of his coun­try in run­ning. Gil­lett, who ma­jored in fash­ion, men­tioned her as­sign­ments, work­ing 24 hours with no rest.

“I was the pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Cul­ture Club, and my friend was the pres­i­dent of the Ja­panese Cul­ture Club. So we would gather Amer­i­can stu­dents, Ja­panese and

Chi­nese stu­dents to­gether to do spe­cial events like sing songs or do tra­di­tional Chi­nese or Ja­panese dances.”

Brit­tany is a loyal fan of Chi­nese cul­ture and re­called this mem­ory with oceans of hap­pi­ness. In term of what they did that sum­mer after grad­u­a­tion, trav­el­ing ac­counts for quite a small per­cent­age while most in­ter­vie­wees chose to do in­tern­ships, look for jobs, or try dif­fer­ent cul­tural at­mos­pheres.

“I did some ex­tra stud­ies be­cause I planned to come to China to work,” said Brit­tany, adding that she was liv­ing a rich life for her goal when she was young.

Speak­ing of re­veal­ing true sen­ti­ments of his 20-year-old self, Egyp­tian in­ter­vie­wee Ab­dalla Mah­moud hopes he can be more con­fi­dent in univer­sity. “Hold on, the things that you have done are bet­ter than any­one else.”

As most medi­ocre peo­ple do, never re­al­ize the beauty and cher­ish un­til they lose it, Gil­lett wished she could take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity and en­joy it be­cause col­lege life went by so fast.

Brit­tany is a smile-a-lot girl and spreads her pos­i­tive en­ergy to her 20-year-old self as well as us. “The world is a more amaz­ing and mys­te­ri­ous place than we’re taught when we are young. So just stay pos­i­tive,” she said.

“Make sure to be ea­ger and cu­ri­ous about the world,” is Bren­nan’s opin­ion, as the time in univer­sity is a pe­riod to learn and grow.

Un­like oth­ers, Mindey didn’t know what ex­actly to say. If he was given a chance in some kind of strange par­al­lel uni­verse, he would def­i­nitely choose the one that’s best. But for now no­body knows.

No­body is able to ac­cu­rately pre­dict what will hap­pen in the fu­ture when we grad­u­ate. That might be the beauty en­sconced in our grad­u­a­tion be­cause of the in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­ity.

Maisie Gil­lett


Ab­dalla Mah­moud

Bo Bren­nan

Pho­tos: Chen Xia/ GT and VCG


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