The society and me ( by Cherry)

I am a 100% mainland Chinese who was born in China, grew up in China and influenced by Chinese culture deeply since my family background. Even though my family moved once from my birthplace to a bigger city in Hubei Province, these two cities are not quite far away. Most importantly, they are all cities near the Yangtze River. My grandparents on both my parents’ sides were farmers and were not well- educated. However, since the generation of my parents, they both studied quite hard and finally succeeded to be admitted to universities and settled down in the city. As my father said, his generation was the turning point of his whole clan. I always think I was lucky to be born in the city rather than the countryside and I owe my luckiness to my parents.

As I know, in my parents’ generation, most of them were born in the countryside. If they didn’t have the chance to get enough education, they had to follow their parents’ pattern of life, in other words, being a farmer. So in order to get rid of the life in the countryside, my parents both chose to study hard. Only in this way can they change their own life and the living standards of my grandparents’ could also be improved. Under this kind of pressure about the future of a whole family as well as one’s own, my parents’ generation shared the values of working-hard, changing life via education, and also making contributions to their hometown, other Chinese poor people, and the whole country. They were born in the 1960s and reached their 20th in the 1980s when China was developing very fast after the lifting of the reform and opening-door policy. In some way, it is the whole generation of my parents’ struggle that brings us the happy life we enjoy today.

As to my generation, the so-called after 90th, we are often criticized as being raised up in the greenhouse and that we can’t bear hardships and hard work when we are compared with our parents’ generation. However, as many peers of mine argued, China is now entering a mental age, we can also contribute to our society even though we don’t have such strong physical appearance. It sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? As we are mostly assured the nine-year compulsory education, our generation is relatively well-educated and our life is not as hard as the last generation. As we grew up, what surrounded us were all “selected good things”. For example, we had a class called thought morality (思想品德). We were taught how to treat teachers, elder relatives, respectful persons, etc, what to do when we picked up a purse, what to do when we are insulted by peers. At home, we also received “good education” from our parents because the one-child policy made us the only hope of a family. But in my parents’ generation, most of them had brothers or sisters. So parents’ attention was accordingly divided. As we were the apple of their eye, parents were relatively strict with our behavior. Just like we were taught at school, we shall do some things; we must not do some things. This kind of pressure seemed not self-motivated but put on by the whole society. We even didn’t know why we were so precious as we were in our parents’ eyes but we must live up to their expectations. So, our generation is often called the rebel generation. That refers to those teenagers who are more or less 16 years old and don’t want to obey parents and teacher alike. Anyway, our generation also have various dreams as we have more choices than our parents. Singers, enterprisers, journalists, writers, engineers, etc are our dreams. Compared to our parents, our dreams are more specific. Because we are more informed and know more about every kind of jobs.

Our generation is heavily burdened yet we barely have the chance to test what we learned at school in the society. So a kind of disappointing feeling is often shared by the peers. Disappointed because the things were not so perfect as we were taught, not so easy as we expected. So the first lesson most of my generation should learn when step into the society is to be strong psychologically. We can never rely on anybody else except for ourselves. That’s quite important even compared to the way to pursue our dreams. Because how to handle our emotional problems were hardly taught at school, so we had to pay the bill before we are prepared for our dreams.

I am a common member of my generation and the daughter of my parents. I experienced my generation’s life and also influenced by the last generation. Because we keep close contact with relatives in the countryside, we know the hardships of a farmer’s life. We have access to all kinds of information and we know many things earlier than the last generation. We are warm-hearted inside, compassionate, caring, and mostly hard-working. I contribute to the formation of a whole generation called the after 90th and I also represent some kinds of particular groups in my generation. My dream is to be a journalist who can tell real stories about the world the as many people as possible. In order to achieve that, I together with my peers still have a long way to go.

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