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China Daily Global / 2020-09 / 16 / Page011

Rewarding welcome at gates of independence

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-09-16 00:00

As the new academic year begins, freshmen are entering college campuses across the country, many of them accompanied by their parents or well-wishers. Xidian University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, has introduced a policy that has caught everyone's attention. It will give away a "Freshman Independence Award" to those who come to college alone, not accompanied by parents. Awardees will receive a certificate, a specially designed T-shirt, and a photograph of them entering the campus taken for memory.

That's a very innovative idea and will encourage the young to be bold enough to travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers on their own to reach their new college. After all being independent is an essential part of growing up.

Most college freshmen are just 18 and have had little chance of traveling, as they were busy with studies in high school. Going to college could be their first chance to be on their own.

The policy might actually encourage them to be independent.

However, that does not mean those being accompanied by parents should be scoffed at. Many families look forward to the moment when their child goes to a college and would like to be there to experience the moment. Many families thus travel from one city to another with their college-going members in celebration.

For some students from poor regions, going to college might be a rare occasion and for their parents the only chance to travel anywhere. Not surprisingly, some cities see a spurt in tourist figures in September, thanks to parents of college freshmen. Authorities of some tourist spots try to cash in on the occasion by introducing favorable policies to draw visitors.

Also, for some families, it might be a last reunion of sorts to be cherished, because once their wards graduate they might move to another city to work. So, here's wishing a bright career ahead to every freshman, whether they travel independently, or come accompanied with their family members.


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