An essay demonstrating the independent thinking of a fifth grader in eastern China has gone viral on social media.
The student, surnamed Yu, wrote the essay for a competition that challenged contestants to explore what or where they were “hiding” in.
Off the bat, Yu impressed readers with her maturity, stating that she is a mere “speck of dust” in the cosmos just like every other human being.
Dreaming to become a carpenter, Yu recalled how she had realized back in third grade that society reduces people to nothing. She pointed out that people are already labeled “useless” even before they get the chance to discover their talents.
That realization made Yu feel lonely and helpless, but her father encouraged her not to overthink about people and just go on with life.
Since then, Yu has made changes in her lifestyle. She wakes up and returns to bed early, exercises, works hard at school and asks for help with math problems.
At one point, a teacher asked everyone in the class to run for 50 meters (164 feet). Knowing that she could not escape the task, Yu gave it her absolute best.
“I ran so fast that my hair was flying in the air. I finished at 8.75 seconds and I was extremely happy. I even felt like Usain Bolt for a moment,” she wrote. “I ate some chocolates that night and my father praised me for being a good girl.”
Yu’s conclusion struck a chord among students and workers living under constant pressure in China.
“Perhaps I don’t need to study so hard to get into Harvard University, I just need to be happy.”
Yu, who is currently studying in Nanjing, has a relaxed environment at home. Her father allows her to make mistakes and does not set sterling academic requirements, China News noted.
“Our daughter is a relatively simple child… She is cheerful and her self-esteem is very high,” Yu’s father told reporters.
She also has her parents’ full support in whatever piques her interest.
“She studied violin, piano, football and even karate. As long as the child is interested, we support her extensive exposure to these hobbies.”
Yu has since received praises for having “figured out” life at such a young age. Many also shared their own thoughts on the topic.
“Everyone has aspirations.”
“Such a good child, such a good father!”
“What kind of family can teach children about knowing themselves so quickly?”
“How good is this child? Her father is very open-minded, does not force her and only wants her to live happy. The teacher is also very good! The child’s thinking is very flexible!”
“Learning to survive, to be self-sufficient, to live, and to enjoy oneself is worth applauding. As we grow up, the more we find that we can settle our hearts and look after our lives. It is more meaningful and more challenging than any famous school.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.