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Wearing mortarboards and taking pictures in front of the campus gate, packing up belongings and stepping onto the train, these events mark the time that graduates say goodbye to college life. What are they thinking about at such moments?
The train station in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, is the stage for moments of departure featuring both bitterness and sincerity.
Student Su Nayun said, "She's going to work in another place. I don't know whether we can see each other in the future."
Watching her friend step onto the train with a full complement of packages, Su Nayun realizes that the farewell moment has finally arrived.
Student Su Nayun said, "I believe departure is better for our futures, but I'm really gonna miss her."
Saying goodbye is even more difficult for couples.
Xiao Zhi's girlfriend is going to Shanghai. They've been together since sophomore year, and gone through a lot.
Student Xiao Zhi said, "I believe distance is not the issue. It's going to make our futures better."
As the train starts, Xiao Zhi is still running alongside the carriage.
Despite the nostalgic sentiment of saying "so long," many graduates are immersed in reflecting upon their four-year college lives.
When asked about their "biggest regret," students provide a variety of different answers.
A Changsha student said, "I had a crush on a girl, but didn't tell her."
A Changsha student said, "I wasn't a student leader. I didn't run for a position."
A Changsha student said, "I should have planned my career better."
A Changsha student said, "I read too few books. I really should have read more."
Their reflections can also be a valuable lesson for current juniors.
A Changsha student said, "It costs a lot to cultivate a college student. So if you don't improve yourself during these years, it's a waste of money, and your own time."
Graduation marks the end of an era. Soon-to-be former students are filled with numerous sentiments: nostalgic for the past, and uncertain but also hopeful for the future. Nonetheless, commencement marks the dawning of a new stage of life.