Apart from teachers and parents, college graduates have taken the opportunity to thank unconventional things and people at their graduation dissertation, such as a pet, music, coffee, their computer, idols or loved ones, and even their hair, which has stood strong despite many sleepless nights.
They said the acknowledgement is the “softest” part of the thesis and they want to express their most genuine feelings with no writing skills used.
“I love you, I loved your pear blossom with rain,
And loved the sorrow of your bright eyes”
During his studies, Zhou Yixiang, a senior undergraduate student at Beijing Language and Culture University, expressed gratitude towards his girlfriend, despite having only spent a single day with her.
He met his girlfriend on flight AC027 from Toronto, Canada to Shanghai in December 2021.
The pair exchanged a look on the flight with their masks on, he helped her to move her suitcase after landing, and they started chatting after they stayed at opposite hotel room when they were under 14-day quarantine.
They spent a day together after the quarantine ended and after which he returned to his hometown in Sichuan province and her to Shandong province.
As the COVID-19 epidemic became more serious last year, they never got the opportunity to meet one another again and she returned to Canada to continue postgraduate studies in May last year.
The two mainly relied on WeChat to exchange their love for each other.
“When I was writing my thesis and ran into difficulties, she was my biggest motivation, because I told myself that I must do it right, so I can graduate and meet her in September,” he said, adding that he has got offers to study at universities in the United State and Canada for postgraduate studies.
“No matter how much I test, he always thinks
I am an excellent and spiritual student.”
Suffering from bipolar disorder, it took Du Jiaman eight years to graduate from University of International Business and Economics. In her acknowledgement, she expressed her gratitude to the School of Chinese Language and Literature and teachers at the school who have helped her.
A teacher asked me to stay and gave me a new test paper after I only wrote a few words in the original one with a really bad attitude.
After I deliberately did not do assignments and failed a class, the teacher told me that grades are not the only criterion to judge a student and no matter how many grades I got, he always believed that I am talented and gifted.
When I was suffering from bipolar disorder and even tried to commit suicide, a teacher explained my situation to the university and vouched for me. He offered me firm care and love, which saved me from suicidal thoughts.
Du’s parents have had a major impact on her. They did not have an amicable relationship since she was little and there was domestic violence.
Her father often criticized and ignored her, and her mother wanted to control everything and did not allow her to have any privacy.
After receiving treatment, her condition improved. “I only take a small amount of medicine nowadays. And even though I still have sad days, it is not as bad as before. I have survived the disease.”
Many people try to avoid discussing mental health issues, yet all people might encounter major setbacks in life and have sad emotions. People with mental health issues are usually those who like to think and have strong sympathy. Once they get better and survive from the negative emotions, they will grow tremendously and become more powerful mentally, she said.
“Eight years later, I still have lots of flaws, but it seems I have grown so much. I can take care of myself, manage my life and enjoy great happiness and sunshine. I want to live, make constant improvement and realize my ambitions.”
“Thank you for my imperfect,
Always firmly believe, support, love yourself”
Su Xin, 21, a senior undergraduate student at Jinan University in Guangdong province, thanked her computer, music and iced latte in her acknowledgement.
She has listened tothe Floral Senseby South Korea pop star Yesung many times when writing her thesis, andLa Campanella, orThe Little Bellby Franz Liszt — one of her favorite music pieces since she started to practice piano at an early age.
“The computer, which I thought was about to brake, hung in until I finished my thesis, just like myself not giving up despite encountering great difficulties in writing my thesis,” she said.
Su said compared with the more traditional acknowledgement speeches, students nowadays are more inclusive and not afraid to express their true feelings.
“One might ask is it really necessary to thank small things like music or coffee, and my answer is ‘Yes’, because when I am down, the sudden encouragement from a song is as powerful as the care and help from my parents or teachers. The encouragement can last for a long time and help me get out of the sad emotions.”
"Thanks to my idol, Mr. Zhang Jie"
Pop star and singer Zhang Jie has taken an important space at Wang Yuhan’s acknowledgements.
The 21-year-old from Hubei Normal University said she started to listen to Zhang’s songs since middle school and his music has accompanied her in major moments of life, such as the high school entrance exam and college entrance exam.
She wrote that Zhang’s words “hardship is the best gift” has been her motivation when she runs into difficulties. “His unwavering pursuit and love for music and staying true to his original inspiration and youthful spirit has also influenced and molded me,” she said.