In June, 50 CWEF high school scholarship recipients from three schools in Guangdong, China learned how to navigate college and careers through a workshop run by college volunteers. These volunteers shared their experiences of life after gaokao—China’s notoriously stressful college entrance exam—to help high school students feel confident about their options for the future.
Topics of discussion at the career workshop included the different feelings students might experience after completing the gaokao, how to make choices about where to study and what major to pursue, and how to handle finances in college, from receiving scholarship money to getting a summer job. Students practiced future planning skills by outlining different potential paths of study based on different exam outcomes. They also learned about acclimating to campus life and discussed how to spend their time in college engaged in meaningful experiences. Workshop participants left feeling enlightened and looking forward to the future. One student said the workshop “improved [her] understanding of choosing a major, choosing a school, and life as a college student,” and another said, “I think this workshop will be a big help towards my college graduation and career.” A third student reflected, “The world is really very big. I definitely want to try more things and study more while I’m young.”
The college volunteers, with their energy, commitment, and care, helped the high school students look to their futures with hopeful hearts and open minds. The students had a chance to encourage each other as they said goodbye at the end of the day, and one student expressed her wish that others can also receive this kind of coaching to see more clearly the possibilities for their future.