Beijing [China]July 1 (ANI): Chinese students graduating against the backdrop of the country’s economic turmoil have come up with a unique style of graduation photos in the face of an ultra-competitive job market, The Washington Post reported.
A small group of China’s Class of 2023 posted photos of themselves looking utterly exhausted to mark the occasion. They were sprawled on the ground with fringed caps on their faces. Bending over the railing, hands dangling listlessly.
On social media, they are often accompanied by hashtags such as “zombie style” or “flat lay”.
The Chinese economy is struggling to escape the paralysis of the three-year zero-coronavirus policy. Unemployment, especially among young people, is appalling. About 20 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 24 are unemployed, according to the latest statistics, according to The Washington Post.
At this moment, a record 11.6 million college graduates find their prospects bleak and have adopted a “lay flat” mentality.
Lying flat demands minimal effort to get through, a buzzword that symbolizes subtle, passive defiance. This mentality has been publicly condemned and discouraged by the government.
According to the “Washington Post”, Tang Ping has become a catchphrase for Chinese millennials and Generation Z, who have had enough of the fierce competition and want to opt out of China’s intense work culture and the social expectations that come with it.
For some students, posting unconventional graduation photos online is not only a reflection of their state of mind, but also a last chance to play with classmates before leaving school.
The author gives several examples of students who were actually a part of it.
Brenda Lu, who majored in media and communication studies at Nanjing University, said that lying flat is to avoid repetitive and meaningless internal friction, and it also means that she wants to choose her own way of life
For the 21-year-old, the lay-flat graduation photo flouts social expectations and China’s rigid education system.
“In the past three years of the epidemic, my classmates have been trapped in the dormitory for online classes, as if they were locked in a prison,” she added, “Many people have had no social life for three years and are eager to find a way out. This year’s Job hunting can only be described as particularly dismal.
Jessie Hu, an English student at Lanzhou University, sent her resume to five companies earlier this year after failing to get into graduate school, but was not selected.
“I didn’t even make it past the first round,” the 22-year-old said.
She said she was lying flat on the campus grass for graduation photos, reflecting how overwhelmed she was with the options before her.
“I and most of my peers had only one goal in high school, and that was to get high grades and get into a good college,” she said. “But when you graduate from college, there are so many options. Take the civil service exam, apply to graduate school, study abroad or get a job…you can’t make up your mind because you don’t have a specific goal, so you just get caught Down,” she was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.
21-year-old Liu Hetao is studying at Xi’an University of Posts and Telecommunications. Since his freshman year, he has been worrying about employment after graduation.
Although she has a degree in automation technology, which should get her a job with a semiconductor company, she hasn’t had much luck.
She sent her resume to about 300 e-commerce companies and finally got two offers. But she turned them down because they only paid $830 a month.
“I started thinking I couldn’t get a good job based on my resume, so I figured I should go to grad school.”
Her lay-flat graduation photo is part fun and part reflection of her pandemic college life.
She also feels missing out on students who can now go to music festivals and bars.
“We haven’t been through a lot,” she said.
Li Jingying (21 years old) majored in financial management at Zhuhai Institute of Science and Technology, and was deeply inspired when she saw the first flat-laying graduation photo
“I find it refreshing…compared to the usual graduation photos, it’s really fun and exciting. Also, you don’t have to worry about your facial expressions, it’s nice to take pictures while feeling relaxed physically and mentally,” the Post quoted her words.
Lee, whose college experience has been affected by the pandemic and who recently completed an internship as a radio host, is trying to stay optimistic even in this tough job market.
“Negative news is like a stone thrown into the ocean, it sinks into the ocean and disappears,” she said, adding, “You can choose to go through the day happy or unhappy. I choose to be happy.”
Rain Xu (22) studies digital media art at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University in Hangzhou. According to The Washington Post, his and her friends wanted to be part of the graduation photo trend, so they sprawled on the auditorium floor and toppled over rows of seats.
“That’s the mindset of college students right now,” she said. “Three years after four years of college, we’re in the midst of a pandemic. It’s like never going to college at all.”
Xu, who studies digital media art, has not yet found a full-time job, and plans to practice as a secretary to find a suitable job.
“Layoffs, wages have been going down,” she said, noting that her friend who has a job is only getting paid $350 a month.
Xu is considering studying abroad or graduate school, but her parents want her to take the civil service exam. As a backup, she also holds a teacher certificate.
“Hangzhou rent is so high, how do you live? [on that]? ,” she added, “if I can’t do the right thing, I think there will still be a need for art teachers. “
Another, 22-year-old Dexter Yang, who studies theoretical physics at South China University of Technology, covered his face with his graduation cap and posed on the ground; delivering a message of “a downturn in the job market”.
“I think this trend reflects how the pandemic has affected people over the years,” he said.
Yang plans to pursue a doctorate and become a professor, but he is also conflicted about his choice.
“For recent graduates, it’s a blow to our confidence, especially when you see big companies laying off workers,” he added.
“Of course, the ideal is to choose what you like, but you also have to eat, right?” Yang was quoted as saying by The Washington Post. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)