HUANG Yulin, English and French Major, Grade 2015/ currently a postgraduate at SFL
I’ve been here on this campus long enough to know every paths to any places, but never long enough to cease to be amazed. It always surprises me in the most unexpected ways: new buildings around the corner, new cafes recently opened, or the massive amount of trees and flowers that I can’t even put names on. Steve Jobs’s most famous quote, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”, can perfectly describe the spirit of this ever-changing university, and of course the spirit of this city, the pioneer in economic and technological development. It almost feels like even molecules in the air is bumping each other hard with energy and innovation. Here, everything can happen, and everything is happening.
The Liberal Arts Building
Walking to the Liberal Arts Building from my dorm was the routine of my five-years college life. Every time I approached to the building, I could hear the professors giving lectures. To me, the sounds coming out of each classroom constituted a beautiful symphony: Viva la connaissance! Viva la vérité! In this paradise of knowledge, I had the privilege to have a glance at human wisdoms. Under the guidance of my professors, I greedily acquired knowledge not only in languages, but also in philosophy, literature, politics, etc. Like an exquisitely-made scroll, the world was wide-open to me: I was amazed by Shakespeare; I was sympathetic with characters in works of Dostoevsky; I was attracted to the Count of Monte Cristo and Jean-Christophe; I was impressed by Karl Marx and Michel Foucault; I was curious about Nietzsche; I was aspired by Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But knowledge was not the only thing that’s been taught, there were also the passion to one’s field, the curiosity to the world, the courage to explore, and the seriousness and devotion to work.
Library was my second classroom. Studying by my desk, my nostrils were filled with the smells of the wooden furnitures, and of the old books. There was something about those smells that always soothed me and helped me focus. Inside the library, it was all silent. I could hear nothing except for the tappings of the keyboards, the clickings of the mouses, and the turnings of pages. Occasionally, there were some students standing in the corridors, taking a short break from the weary tasks. But hardly anyone was talking. Sometimes, our eyes met, all in silence, and in that moment we understood each other: the exhaustion from working too hard; the ambition of trying to have a better future; and the determination to keep holding on.
Sports is definitely the new fashion. Walking around the campus, especially at night, you could see people doing all kinds of exercises. My favorite exercise was jogging. After a day’s weary work of the brain, I needed to clear my mind and get my body moving. And jogging was a perfect way to help me focus on my breaths and not anything else, which help ease my anxiety. The school was full of viability and energy. Seeing all those students who were fit and muscular, we could understand the era when students buried their faces into books ended and the physiognomy of the new generation is healthy, energetic, and confident.
I still remembered the first night I spent in my dormitory five years ago. Being so far away from home, and having to spend the night with three other roommates who were practically strangers to me, I was so nervous and unsettling that I could barely fall asleep. Never had I thought this little place would one day become such a soft spot in my heart. I moved out when I graduated. The moment I closed the door, I experienced an unprecedented and indescribable heartache. I closed my eyes and so many memories rushed back to my mind that I could hear the laughters, the gossips, and even the quarrels in the past. The past is truly a melancholy concept. However wonderful it was, we could never relive it again; and with time elapsing, our memories would only gradually fade away. If possible, I hope I would never forget all those dusks I spent with my best friend, watching the pink and yellow sunsets, listening to our favorite music, whispering our secrets, crying and then handing each other napkins. What a wonderful time and how sad it had to end!
Five years have passed in only a blink of an eye. I couldn’t remember what I expected five years ago before I came to the university. But it’s for certain that I’ve gained more than I could ever imagine — the high education I’ve always wanted, spaces for free and independent thinking, an energetic environment that encourages me to explore more, and a loving family where I could find love and kindness. One chapter finished, yet another chapter begins. I’ll keep my head high, and march on as a proud SZUer.