When the "graduation baton" advances to the freshman year

  What does it mean for college students to "graduate the baton" early to the freshman year?

How can we better place ourselves and reduce anxiety?


  "What are the requirements for credit points and extra points for our professional postgraduate study?" "Is it more suitable for a direct job to be a civil servant or a career editor?" "Is it too late for me to prepare for the postgraduate entrance examination now?"...

  Liu Naishu, who had just withdrawn from the chaotic graduation season, was a little surprised when he was asked these questions by his junior sister.

In her impression, these "soul torture" should appear in the "second half" of the university, but now they are bothering many first-year students.

  According to data from the Ministry of Education, the number of postgraduate applicants nationwide in 2022 will be 4.57 million, an increase of 800,000 over 2021; the number of college graduates in 2022 is expected to be 10.76 million, a record high.

  This generation of young people has long stopped believing in the words of high school teachers that "going to college is liberating". Compared with the past, more and more people feel the pressure of graduation when they first enter college.

Some people decide to take a postgraduate entrance examination early for the bonus of their employment degree;

"Graduation Outlet" has gradually become a "baton", which affects students' choices from the time of admission.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to feel the pressure of graduation as a freshman

  Chen Xi, a freshman majoring in computer science, recalled that his school and major were carefully selected by his father, with "high cost performance" without wasting scores and having good employment prospects.

However, Chen Xi has a vague concept of what to study in computer science and what he will do after graduation.

  After taking classes for a few weeks after enrollment, the confusion and anxiety about "what to do after graduation" quickly hit.

"It's like entering a new arena with a lot of fog. You haven't found a suitable track yet, but you have to follow in everyone's footsteps and compete for the future."

  Yang Mei, a professor of psychology at Capital University of Economics and Business, believes that from a psychological point of view, many students feel graduation anxiety as soon as they enter the university, which belongs to "anticipation anxiety", and this anxiety may be due to unconsciously starting to think about "occupational identity". , to explore personal career planning.

  Psychologists divide the development of life into several major stages, and each stage has an important developmental task.

From the perspective of age, from junior high school to college graduation belongs to the same development stage, which is called "adolescence" (about 12-22 years old).

The most important developmental task at this stage is to explore "who am I, where did I come from, and where am I going".

  "Naturally, people start to think and explore this important developmental task in junior high school, but in the face of the college entrance examination, most students pay more attention to grades before going to college. They don't think about why they go to college and what suits them. What kind of life do you want to live, you don’t think about your personal responsibilities in society, and you miss many opportunities to think about and design your future life.”

  "If the anxiety about graduation and employment when we just entered the university is due to excessive anxiety caused by unconsciously starting to think about occupational identity, it means that we have begun to think and explore our own life." Yang Mei believes that this is actually a good thing. , it can inspire students to think carefully about what they want to do and what they are suitable for, and have a richer university life in the exploration.

Be careful, don't get stuck with the "graduation baton"

  "If Baoyan is my 'graduation baton', I feel that I have been stuck with it since the beginning of my freshman year," said Wang Jiayi, a senior majoring in normal school.

  Shortly after entering the freshman year, Wang Jiayi set the goal of postgraduate study. First, because her favorite job requires a postgraduate degree;

To this end, she studied the policy for research protection early, and detailed rules for adding points to each scientific research project, and practiced them one by one throughout the university era, "like a collection game".

  After successfully "clearing the customs", Wang Jiayi felt a little regretful. The "graduation path orientation" was too strong, and she missed a lot of attempts. In order to improve her grades, she chose many meaningless but high-scoring "water courses"; originally In her junior year, she had the opportunity to go abroad to exchange, but she finally gave up after learning that the credit exchange would lower her grade point.

  According to Shen Zijiao, a full-time consultant at the Mental Health Education and Counseling Center of the Student Affairs Department of the Party Committee of Beijing Normal University and the head of the mental health course construction of Beijing Normal University, when the "graduation baton" arrives in advance of the freshman year, it means that college students have a sense of career planning. Awakening early, "it's better than staying in the dark all the time".

On the other hand, the lack of open awareness of career planning also has limitations.

  Shen Zijiao found that the undergraduate stage was supposed to cultivate generalists in specific fields, but the realistic way out for undergraduates has gradually become narrow: continuing to study was originally only one of the graduation paths of college students, but now it has become the choice of the vast majority of college students; due to the new crown pneumonia epidemic Affected by other reasons, the number of people who choose to study in domestic universities for postgraduate studies has been increasing year by year, and the difficulty has continued to increase.

  After Qiu Shan, a freshman majoring in law, went to university, many people emphasized the importance of postgraduate research to him, "It seems that at the end of the universe there are only postgraduate studies and entry into the system, and everyone has to compete on a single homogenous track. ".

  "Work harder than before, but not necessarily better than others. Students also feel more and more involved." Shen Zijiao said that when students' competitive pressure increases, they will feel coerced, initiative and control. will be affected and detrimental to mental health.

  "Some students have expressed their feelings to me: those who can guarantee postgraduate studies are 'superior people', those who can go abroad and postgraduate entrance exams are 'middle people', and the worst are those who find jobs after graduation." Shen Zijiao believes that when a student is a student They feel that the way out for graduation is divided into three, six, and nine grades, and even a "chain of contempt" is formed. Constantly being scrutinized and compared will have an impact on their inner security and aggravate anxiety.

  Yang Mei suggested that when it comes to graduate school, you can think about two questions: First, do you really study because you love this major?

If not, you must be prepared to face a new situation of loss after taking the test; 2. Don't put the postgraduate entrance examination against university study, but combine them organically. It is more likely to continue to develop in the future.

Faced with graduation anxiety, how to put yourself in place

  How to relieve anxiety when graduation pressure is early?

Shen Zijiao believes that the first thing is to learn to accept the anxiety and powerlessness brought about by the fiercer competition, and the second is to return to your original heart and clarify what you really want.

  When people find that their efforts are for what they want from their heart (I want), rather than "I have to" due to fierce competition with others, the motivation is different.

"When a person is very sure of what he wants, rather than just to meet other people's expectations, he is more motivated to overcome difficulties. If the pursuit of self-worth is the ultimate goal, even if the postgraduate study and postgraduate entrance examination are unsuccessful, undergraduate Students can also find a platform to develop their self-worth.”

  Of course, if a person has never paid attention to his own needs and goals, and acts more by following the herd or following the advice of others, it is more difficult to quickly find the goals you want.

Shen Zijiao believes that it is necessary to consciously carry out personal exploration at the university stage, and the correct guidance of teachers is equally important.

  Yang Mei also pointed out that when the "graduation baton" arrives in the freshman year ahead of schedule, what students need to do is to think about what subjective and objective conditions they have, what they are suitable for, what they want to do, and how to choose a personal development that is consistent with social evolution. In short, the problem of occupational identity must be solved first.

  Shen Zijiao recommends that students use the "4A Adjustment Method" when they are anxious.

The first is self-awareness (Aware), aware of your anxiety; the second is acceptance (Accept), learn to accept this emotion, don't deny yourself; then analyze (Analyze), figure out your current situation and adjust the way, you can't figure it out If so, seek help from teachers, classmates, and psychological counselors; finally, adjust, adjust yourself scientifically, and shift your worries and attention to the future to the present.

  "Anxiety is actually worry about bad things that may happen in the future. The best way is to take back the worry and attention about the future to the present, and do everything at hand." Shen Zijiao said.

  (At the request of the interviewee, Liu Naishu, Chen Xi, Qiu Shan, and Wang Jiayi are all pseudonyms)

  Yu Bingyue, a trainee reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily Source: China Youth Daily