By Vincent Jeong
Editor’s note: Graduation symbolizes a significant transition, marking the culmination of years of hard work and studious dedication, as one embarks on a fresh chapter in life. To celebrate this graduation season, PKU News has invited graduates to reflect upon their experiences at the University and is publishing a collection of stories under the theme "My PKU Story." In the following article, Vincent Jeong, a master’s graduate at the School of International Studies from South Korea, shares his life at PKU and offers his advice to younger students.
Vincent and friends
Peking University, June 26, 2023: Two years ago, on a Saturday evening, I was emptying my mailbox when I received an email that happened to change my life. No one could have thought that a guy who got rejected from Tsinghua University was able to get into Peking University, at least I myself was skeptical about the prospects. But here I am, a freshly minted PKU graduate!
Studying at PKU had always been my dream and I worked hard for several years to earn a spot in it. That single moment when I opened the acceptance email while tearing up alongside my parents was a day that I would never forget. I knew instantly that my life at PKU will be full of wonders and challenges for me to grow, and it did. During the process, I also learned to love the School and embrace the campus life.
An opportunity to study international relations at PKU provided many benefits beyond mere academia, as it helped foster my ability to observe and critically assess any circumstances through writing and rhetoric. Having to apply such a skill in the areas of international communication paved the way for me to enhance networking with my peers and understand other cultures by listening to the stories of students from different parts of the world.
Vincent and his supervisor Professor Qi Haotian
With all the knowledge and skills that I needed to acquire, I managed to join several organizations like the PKU International Students Division and the PKU Office of Global Communications (OGC) to put my skills to good use while dedicating enough time to carry out my studies with good grades.
In fact, PKU has become a second home to me. This is the place where I was able to recognize my purpose in life and overcome fears so that one day I might succeed and tell my story to the young and bright PKUers behind me. Most of all, knowing that the future holds mysteries but garnering the courage to face them and enjoying the present for a better tomorrow have become valuable lessons during my time at PKU. Among those are the love and respect from both teachers and classmates that have led me to finish this incredible and unforgettable journey which I will always cherish.
Vincent and his adorable childhood companion Po
On a final note, I would like to quote a famous Chinese saying, “机不可失，时不再来,” which literally translates to “Now or never.” I am aware that after graduation, many young adults like myself will encounter obstacles in career-seeking or pursuing a Ph.D. I know many of us are scared that we might not be able to distinguish right from wrong in life since the paths we choose will define us; we would often either back down or live within our comfort zones. In that case, I suggest that we should just go for it. We cannot taste success and failure unless we try it. No matter the results, hopping into the rollercoaster is better than waiting in line. And so, I bid adieu to PKU, the place I call home. May I see you again!
More from this series:
My PKU Story | Life as an international student in China and PKU
Edited by: Dennis Meng
Photos by: Vincent Jeong