Stories of some newly graduate Chinese students

The story was first appeared on the Chinese news website.

“Anxiety, not sure about which way to go and also hope” are the common feeling among many of China’s newly graduated university students. There are estimated about 7650000 students graduated from Chinese universities this year. Many of them have begun working and stepped into the real society. Some of them may have to face the reality of low wages, interpersonal relationship issues and difficulty renting suitable apartments.

Wang Qiang is a newly graduated master student from one of the colleges sponsored by project 985 in China, he is doing very well and has got many different kinds of scholarship at the university, he came to Hangzhou in search of employment after graduation. In order to save money, he bought a standing train ticket to Hangzhou, he was standing in the train to Hangzhou for about 10 hours. He alone, with many newly graduated students face economic pressures. He earns about 3300 RMB per month, after deducting three social insurance and one housing fund (三险一金), he can’t even get 3000RMB per month. Because of the amount he earns per month, he is very careful about spending his money. He needs to pay rent for about a thousand RMB per month. Before he newly joined his company, he had to borrow money from his friends to pay for the different costs. He has never faced this kind of economic pressure before. Before he was thinking of inviting his friends to Hangzhou and pay for their trip, but because of the current economic situations, he has turned down that idea.

Tong Li is working for one of the college in Yunnan, even though his pay is not that high, but his job is very stable. During his college years, when he encountered problems at school, he can always seek help from his teachers. Now in his working life, he is kind of very cautious and try to solve the problem himself when he encountered the problem. It seems everyone is very cautious  and afraid of making mistake. He starts working from 8:30 in the morning, and finishes working at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. However, he often needs to work overtime. His manager has told him that in later time, the work load and work pressure would be more and more on him. Sometimes Tong Li admits he likes working over time, he like staying in the quiet office alone, and do lots of reading and forget about the troubles around him.

June and July are hot months for the rental markets in Chinese major cities such as Beijing, as more and more students are graduating and looking for places to live, the rent for apartment has increased year by year. In July, 2010, the cost per square meter for rent is 47.2 RMB, and in July, 2015, the cost for rent has increased to 72.8 per square meter. It has increased by 54.2%.

Chen Cong graduated from one of the arts college in Beijing, he first lived in a 15 square meter room with 6 other people, but he can’t really stand the mess in the room the other people has caused, such as dirty socks, messy bathroom and cigarettes. So Chen Cong decided to find a new place to live.

“It’s so hard to find a suitable place to rent, because many people are looking for good living places to rent at the same time.” Chen told the reporter. He has tried many different ways to find the right apartment to live, the method include through the Internet, wechat (Chinese equivalent of Whatsapp) and also through the real estate agents. He has also thought about flatting with a stranger. In the end, he finally able to find a single room apartment to live, the rent is about 2000 RMB per month, half of his monthly salaries.

Edited and translated by Philip Caruso

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