A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Author | Tris also

Edit | Lu Yiming

Title Picture | Provided by the interviewee

"How are the people who got the best in the college entrance examination doing now?"

Ten years after graduation, Li Jiahui, a 29-year-old boy from Northeast China, made his high school classmates into blind boxes and began to visit them randomly. He opened a video account called "Zai Xia Huizi" and posted the process of meeting each high school classmate on the Internet one by one, and it became popular.

Benxi High School, where Huizi is located, is one of the best high schools in Northeast China, with an online rate of more than 96% all year round, often winning the provincial champion, and dozens of people are admitted to Qingbei every year.

In this school known for its "excellent", Huizi's 2013 Liberal Arts Olympiad class is even more prominent: the second-to-last students in the class who scored in the college entrance examination are all on 985, and there are also many "celebrities" - Liu Dingning, the two-time provincial champion in liberal arts, Li Xueqin, a talk show actor, and Zhao Yingnan, a strange debater......

Teruko and I are alumni of the same class in high school. But unlike him, I'm a student in the liberal arts class, and I'm the majority of the background in this shining story. Like everyone who watches the video, I am also curious about the life trajectory of these "top students" who used to be from the same school after graduation. Have the things brought about by the college entrance examination system continue to influence us in the past ten years?

I reached out and interviewed Teruko to exchange memories of high school from our respective perspectives and talk about life over the past decade.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

A graduation photo of Keiko's class in her junior year of high school. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

Ten years later, those classmates who have changed

Two years ago, Teiko wanted to make a documentary for these high school students, but she never got into action. In the second half of 2023, he felt that he could give it a try in the form of a short video first.

He was reminded of the concept of "small town as a problem-solver". Although Benxi is not a small town, in this provincial key high school in a small fifth-tier city, everyone knows their mission as a "problem-solver" - the college entrance examination, and then stays in a bigger city. "None of you will come back to build your hometown. That's what the teacher told everyone.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Teiko hopes to make some fragmentary records for her high school classmates in her own way. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

One of the first videos to cause a lot of heat, the subject was Keiko's first girlfriend Ling Xuan. Like every relationship that happens in adolescence, their grades also declined during the six months they were together for a short time. Recalling high school, she felt like she was "stuck" in it. She even feels that her mother is still trapped there, and from time to time she reflects, "What did I do badly? If it was better, would my daughter be better?"

Teruko can understand that feeling, too. When he was in the worst state, he had no intention of studying, he didn't want to listen to classes, and he couldn't do questions, and he was admitted to more than 150 grades, the second to last in the class. At that time, after reading the results, the baked cold noodles I bought for dinner were not fragrant. After Teruko's mother went to the parent-teacher conference, she told Teruko that she was walking on the way home, and her heart was like ashes. It was drizzling, and she couldn't tell if it was rain or tears on her face. "Now that I think about my mother, I am really 'Guo Jingming', I told her at the time, Mom, I was wrong, I learned. ”

And Ling Xuan was already very good, she was able to be admitted to the National People's Congress with her college entrance examination score at that time, and finally chose the University of International Business and Economics. The trajectory of his life after that is similar to the choice of every graduate of a prestigious school, and he is enrolled in this school. After graduating with a master's degree, she entered the Internet factory. But the work is tiring, physiologically tiring. In the video, Ling Xuan had a confused expression: "It's strange, obviously society is getting better and better, but people seem to be getting more and more unhappy." Many people left messages in the comment area, feeling that Ling Xuan's state was very similar to herself.

Ten years on, some people have undergone a lot of changes. Ah Xu, who now also works in an Internet company, used to be a "non-smiling" person, and Keiko described it as "feeling that talking to her would disturb her studies". In high school, she only allowed herself to bury herself in her studies, "she seemed bitter and hateful, and she was also very domineering towards her classmates and family, which seemed to be a bit pathological." Ah Xu said. After leaving the environment of high school, Ah Xu hit a wall in college and when she just graduated, but it was in this process that she slowly learned those things that high school did not teach her.

Nowadays, Ah Xu stretches a lot, keeps his short hair into a shawl and long hair, and goes to art museums and coffee shops in his spare time. Unlike her obsession with "doing the right thing" in high school, she is now beginning to understand the "deviant" friends around her and has become very smiling.

In the process of contacting classmates, there are also some people who refuse Keiko's filming, they often feel that high school is painful, so painful that they don't want to remember, and want to completely separate themselves from that time.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Keiko's popularity has always been good. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

When filming Wanwan, he told Keiko that if it was anyone in the class to visit him, he might not agree. He felt that it was most appropriate for the whole class to do this, because Keiko was very popular in the class, and it seemed that he could chat with anyone without distance.

Many of the students also felt that it was very meaningful for Keiko to do this, and the process of filming also made them express some things that they had never said before, and they were very happy.

"Don't want to go back in time"

Sitting in a coffee shop in Beijing, many unfamiliar and familiar terms slowly emerged in my conversation with Keiko.

For example, "Wen Ao" and "Wen A". They refer to Teruko and my high school class, respectively. In high school, students with the best grades form the "Olympiad class", and the other students are divided into regular classes. Before the third year of high school, the Olympiad was mobile according to rankings, and if you fell behind in the exam a few times, you could be eliminated.

The first flow adjustment, Teruko didn't feel anything. The second adjustment, Teruko panicked because she was falling behind in her grades. When the list is announced, the teacher will walk over and silently pat the eliminator on the shoulder. Teruko sat in her seat, so frightened that she didn't dare to raise her head. In the end, he was not among the people who were out, "I didn't have the heart to feel sorry for the people who left, knowing that there was no me inside, I was already happy to death." Because I feel that people like me, once they go out, they are likely to collapse. Teruko said.

For example, "this high-speed rail flow", "despite thousands of difficulties and dangers, this high-speed rail flow will always move forward" is the most familiar motivational slogan we were ten years ago, and it often appeared on the radio and on the walls of schools. Sounds a little dizzy today.

Another example is the "physical activity class", a kind of class that forces you to go to the playground for outdoor activities, but there will always be someone with a book and quietly memorized it. Similar to it, there is a "reading class", which compulsorily goes to the library to read extracurricular magazines. Of course, there must be someone who will have a textbook underneath the magazine.

We are about to turn 30, and we feel that these terms are as far away as the things of the previous life.

In high schools where academic performance is paramount, the "top students" have some "preferential treatment". For example, you can not wear a school uniform, you can leave school early after completing your studies, and so on. The school has a school magazine, and only students in the Olympiad class can be editors, and students in the regular class can only submit articles. The reason is: "I'm afraid of taking up too much study time." "If an Osai student is caught in a relationship, the teacher may just say a few words about you, but if the same thing happens in a regular class, you may be suspended for several months of evening self-study.

"But you say, stopping the evening self-study is actually a punishment? Who wants to go to the evening self-study?" Teruko asked me, and we laughed. A lot of things that didn't go well were realized to me ten years later.

But Teiko questioned these when she was in high school. At that time, the class took turns to write weekly diaries, and he wrote a small article in the weekly diary book, to the effect that he and his classmates were like parts in the assembly line of a factory. The article was circulated in the class and received a great response, and the teacher also gave a compliment.

Sometimes he also deliberately does something "out of line". The school doesn't allow you to wear colored glasses frames, so Keiko secretly prepared a pair of glasses that could be changed for glasses, and quietly changed them to blue and orange without anyone noticing. In addition, Huizi never memorized ancient poems. In almost every class, they would collectively memorize ancient poems ten minutes before the start of the afternoon class, but Keiko was always fishing.

The Chinese teacher knows that he does not memorize, and also respects and acquiesces. She is a young Chinese teacher who is loved by many students, likes to wear cheongsam, comb a braid, and always have a gentle and literary temperament. According to Huizi, she would talk about Wang Anyi's writing techniques and analyze the characters in "Dream of Red Mansions" in Wenao's Chinese class. "She has that aesthetic that transcends beyond the exam. I wasn't the best student in my class, but she liked me a lot and would often make me read essays. Teruko said.

I was a little envious, because in our class across the wall, the Chinese teacher once tore up the novel I had written in the self-study class in front of the whole class.

When it came to the college entrance examination, Huizi's ancient poems were written incorrectly three times and three points were deducted. "Now that I think about it, three points may be out of school, but at that time, I felt that I was old and handsome, old punk. ”

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Teruko in high school. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

There are also people who vent their emotions in other ways. After a mock exam, one of the students in Teruko's class finished the answers, felt that the test had failed, and suddenly began to cut his hair. As a result, the test results came out, and she got the best score, third in the class. Later, Teiko and the classmate's tablemate talked about it, and the tablemate said that when she saw it, she thought to herself: "She can do this in order to study, why can't I?"

There is another student with good grades, who often has a messy pile of papers and books, and he will be irritable if he can't find it. Because she couldn't hear the sound of the classmates next to her, she taped the paper to her head in a circle to keep herself focused.

Like many people, Keiko doesn't want to go back in time at all: "Sometimes you think youth is good. But as soon as you recall the specific life of each day at that time—we arrived at school at 7 o'clock in the morning, your mother woke you up from bed at 6 o'clock, you didn't wake up and picked up two mouthfuls of food, washed your face and put your schoolbag on your back and went out; when you arrived at school, you saw a pile of papers, and you were too sleepy to go to sleep; my family lived in "Forward", and when I went home at noon for lunch break, I had to walk back and forth on a big slope, and when I thought about the big slope, my head hurt. I really don't want to go back to the past at all. ”

The best liberal arts students,

Is it still on the way to the "service industry"?

In the video comment area, someone asked: "Why are there so many girls in your classmates?" and someone immediately gave an answer: "Because it's a liberal arts class." ”

Keiko said that he chose to study liberal arts because when he was a freshman in high school, he found that he suddenly couldn't do physics problems: "I could only score more than 40 points in the exam, which is a big gap, and I won a physics competition award in junior high school." Because chemistry was not bad, the homeroom teacher at that time persuaded him to study science, but he insisted on choosing liberal arts.

Even in the best high schools, we have 18 classes in the school, and only 5 are liberal arts classes. In a broader discussion, liberal arts students are considered "unemployable and have fewer opportunities." Last year, because of Internet celebrity teacher Zhang Xuefeng's remarks such as "a child with good grades will knock him out when he learns journalism" and "liberal arts students are engaged in the service industry", it also made "studying liberal arts" a worrying choice.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Keiko's self-study class in high school. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

Teiko does not deny this confusion as a liberal arts student. In 2017, he graduated from the Department of History of Beijing Normal University, and then went to Scotland for a year to study for a master's degree in media management. On the first day of school, Teiko thought she was dreaming — only six of the more than 40 students in her class were not Chinese.

During the filming of her classmates, Teruko observed that there were many people in her class who chose to go abroad for graduate school like him. He also communicated with his classmates in the Science Olympiad class, and they said that there didn't seem to be too many in his class.

I asked Teiko, "Which do you think is more important, academic qualifications or opportunities?", he thought for a while and said, "Opportunities." ”

Wei Xinyuan is another video protagonist with a high number of likes, and his college entrance examination results were in the top ten in the province that year. In 2017, Wei Xinyuan graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a degree in economics and finance and joined a private equity company. He realized early on that he was suitable for stocks. Caught up with the bull market in 2017, he got off to a good start and is now financially free. When he met Teiko, he drove a Maserati on a business trip and jokingly said, "I bought the car I liked when I was a kid in QQ Space to grab parking spaces." ”

In 2017, in addition to the students who studied finance, some large Internet companies were also in the take-off stage, and many outstanding people seized the opportunity.

At the end of 2018, Teiko returned to China after graduating with a master's degree and began to look for a job. He found it difficult to find a clear position for himself. He tried to cast a few media outlets, and the whole process didn't go well. In the end, he joined a documentary shooting company as a planner, responsible for the pre-sampling of the subject, and the monthly salary was 8,000 yuan before tax. When the Chinese New Year arrives, he has to explain his work in Beijing to his relatives: "If you shoot something, you can put it on the Internet." ”

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

After graduating, Keiko once felt a brief period of confusion. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

Although the content of the work is quite like, Keiko suddenly realized that the "cost performance" of spending 400,000 yuan to study abroad is too low. The International Student series is also a new video he is shooting. He wondered if those who chose to study abroad today would regret it.

Some time ago, Huizi went to Suzhou to interview Zhang Dianyan, our top science student in the same session. Keiko feels that there really is less confusion among science students, and most of them will follow their own professional path to think about the future. But he also discovered the strengths of liberal arts students, almost all of the students he photographed were very expressive, and most of them were willing to think about themselves and the world around them. "I feel like a lot of people are full of golden sentences when they meet. He said.

Is "meritocracy" a trap?

Those who did well in the college entrance examination, are they doing well now? Keiko gave an affirmative answer. His measure is not only work, wealth, but also inner stability and self-consistency.

Among all the videos of Huizi, except for the episode where Li Xueqin was filmed, the video of shooting Ah Shu has the highest number of likes. Ah Shu is not the best in the class, the college entrance examination score is even at the bottom of the class, the classmates are all admitted to 985, she is Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, and she is the only one in the class to study in the provincial university. After the college entrance examination, no one saw her again.

Ah Shu's four years of college were very screwed, but during her graduate studies, because she met a good mentor, she felt that her whole person had become relaxed. In the past, she was a little inferior, and she was very envious of those powerful people in the class, feeling that she "did not have the same high level of thought as others." ”

Today, Ah Shu works as a teacher in a public institution in Dalian, and lives a simple and stable life with her husband. Sitting on the beach in Dalian, she said with a smile that she is still "an ordinary person".

But in the eyes of netizens, she is an ordinary, but happy person. Many people said that among all the videos, they liked Ashu's life the most.

To what extent does the gaokao affect us?

In the ordinary class, I talked to Keiko from the Osai class about the self-explanatory "rules" in the school, such as classing according to ranking, such as the privileges of top students, such as the sentence on the graduation photo, "Yanyuan Beidarong I, Shuimu Tsinghua Yaomenting". But everything is still traceable, it revolves around the level of performance, a one-dimensional life.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Dinner with friends. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

However, society is complex and multifaceted, and those of us who believe in "meritocracy" may face unforeseen losses in the future. Education doesn't definitely lead to a good job, nor does it lead to happiness. It's like when I went to college, I realized that people who play basketball well are really popular, and not like the sports students in my class, who are often treated coldly by some teachers.

Teiko mentioned that a junior high school classmate in her circle of friends was not admitted to a good high school, but now he makes a lot of money by selling cars, "You will feel that although he is not highly educated, he has also found his own way, which is very admirable." And then you feel like you're a little useless. ”

"To be honest, in our city at that time, when you said that you were a student of Benxi High School, it seemed that everyone would look up to you and think that you were a child, how good you were at studying. High school does give us some illusions, and after graduation, some people's mentality is easy to reverse, and there is such a process to a greater or lesser extent. Teruko said.

But we are still the beneficiaries of the gaokao. "We are all educated by exams, and it seems a little ungrateful to you to go back and talk about it." Classmate A Jing said.

A group of people who got the best in the college entrance examination only swiped the screen after ten years

Thirty-year-old Teiko also found her own way. (Photo/Provided by the interviewee)

When she returned home for the Chinese New Year this year, Keiko finally didn't have to explain her work to her family anymore. "Because everyone has a short video app, my relatives have watched it all. Teiko chatted with her friends on the road and went to eat "Three Sisters Fried Skewers", from snacks to big ones. Walking on the road around the school, he sighed: "Time flies so fast, I am thirty years old this year." ”

Proofreading: Meet, Operation: Ono, Typesetting: Liang Ningyan

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