China’s ‘independent, hedonistic’ millennium babies enter college

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/28 22:38:40

Chinese colleges since last week have been welcoming freshmen born in 2000, who sociologists labeled as a generation with "independence and hedonism."

The Beijing Institute of Technology, where the new semester began on Monday, has 4,127 freshmen this year, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday.

According to a school survey, 56 percent of all freshmen are the only child in their family, and 71 percent consider themselves "outgoing."

Nanjing University in East China's Jiangsu Province used big data to match dormitory roommates based on the freshmen's habits and hobbies, CCTV reported.

The new university students are also bringing their unique personality to campus.

"I have made DIY chains featuring videos games, soccer clubs and music groups that I like, such as the pan from the game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and will put them on my new bag," Beijing 18-year-old Zhang Yunyi told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Zhang, who will enter college in the capital city on September 8, said it is normal for his peers to show what they like anytime, anywhere.

"Idols must come to school with me for sure!" Zhang Hanyu from North China's Hebei Province told the Global Times. She prepared many souvenirs of her idols Kang Daniel and Park Woo-jin, K-pop stars from boy band Wanna One.

"You don't need to bring your mother, but you must bring your idol," she said, "so that you can admire them from time to time."

"It's a matter of beliefs," Zhang Yunyi said.

Despite the idols, freshmen are bringing various electronic gadgets to school.

PCs, iPads are all too common.

Li Jiaqi, a freshman at Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, brought a hover board so that she could conveniently move around in the large campus, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"There will be all kinds of people in the university. Out of respect, I don't mind what they do as long as they do not affect others," a freshman at Guangdong University of Finance in South China, who prefers to be called "Josh," told the Global Times.

She said that she will not show off in school and will focus instead on her studies.

"The post-2000 generation is growing up at a time of rapid economic development and the internet, and society is forcing them to develop more diverse ideas and culture," said Jiang Haisheng, head of the Journalism and Communication Department at the Shandong University of Political Science and Law.

"Compared to previous generations, they have more diverse values, stronger characteristics and are more independent," Jiang told the Global Times on Tuesday.

 "Their spirit and hedonism shows in their consumption habits and behavior," he said.

Jiang noted that the diversity of idols shows the progress of the times.

"Idols could stimulate creativity and vitality, and provide greater possibilities for our society," Jiang said.

Newspaper headline: Millennium babies enter college

Posted in: SOCIETY

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