Instead of holding flowers or throwing their caps into the air, Chinese graduates are posting photos of themselves lying on the ground to reflect their feelings toward entering a tough job market.
About the trend: The viral trend shows fresh graduates draped over bridges and chairs, lying face down on the ground or throwing their certificates — or even themselves — into the trash.
The ironic photos echo back to the country’s “lying flat” movement, a deliberate act of frustration and rejection of the notorious rat race among jaded youth. Young Chinese workers have also been embracing an attitude of doing less due to China’s hectic work culture.
Tough employment: The unflattering graduation photos highlight the fact that 11.6 million students will now be facing tough employment competition as urban youth unemployment in the nation has hit a record level for the second consecutive month.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the unemployment rate for those aged between 16 and 24 rose to 20.8% in May.
The increase in competition due to the influx of new job hunters creates a discouraging and exhausting picture for students, who have just survived the nation’s notoriously difficult education system.
While Chinese students have been more encouraged to pursue degrees in the last decade, undergraduate or master’s degrees do not guarantee jobs today in the country’s slowing economy, leading fresh graduates to feel depleted.