Four years ago, ShanghaiTech’s campus was a construction site. Today, it is a cutting-edge research university. Four years ago, a small class of incoming freshmen entered the campus, eager for opportunities and willing to take a chance on a brand-new school. Today, these students stroll on a beautiful modern campus and are preparing to continue their research at top universities across the globe. Here, ShanghaiTech seniors share with the incoming freshmen class what they learned from their four years here.
Qian Le Chen, School of Life Science and Technology
Major: Life Science
Next Step: PhD at Harvard University
What I learned is: There’s no right or wrong for which way you choose to go. No matter which path you take, as long as you keep working hard, stay motivated and grateful, you can walk all the way towards a bright future.
The biggest change I’ve seen: I’m able to take actions on what I dreamed. ShanghaiTech gives us enormous resources that allows and encourages me to explore my creative ideas. More importantly, ShanghaiTech gives me a broader vision and played a critical role in my admission to Harvard. Thanks to ShanghaiTech and the knowledge and skills I learned here, I will be able to work on my childhood dream: brain machine interface, with the most brilliant scientists in the future.
Advice: Be humble be prepared, be focused. Here’s your new life in ShanghaiTech. Live it, Love it, Maximize it.
Wang Yifan, School of Information Science and Technology
Major: Computer Science
Next Step: Pursuing PhD at University of Washington
Most important lesson: Opportunities don’t come to you and knock at your door, instead you have to earn them. That’s how I started my research.
The biggest change: My hair has grown longer. Now I can have a hairstyle! Another one is that I become more confident and willing to try new stuff, and I’m more of an optimist. In Star Wars, it’s called the force is with me haha!
Advice: To freshen, Be bold. Don’t be afraid of trying new things, because that’s how you can find the ones you love and are worth fighting for.
Huang Zhengjia, School of Information Science and Technology
Next Step: Pursuing Master's in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University
Lesson: Be proactive. There are plenty of resources and opportunities in ShanghaiTech. The professors are willing to help us, but they need to know our needs first. I think the most important lesson I learned is to be proactive, to communicate with others, and don’t be shy.
Biggest Change: Four years ago, I wanted to learn Mechanical Engineering and become a Mechanical Engineer. Now I’m an Electrical Engineering Computer Science student.
Advice: Be yourself. I learned this from Vice President Lv’s speech at the beginning of our time at university, and I’m still learning to be myself. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to others’ advice, but you are yourself after all. Nobody can live another’s life. Besides listening to others’ advice, you need to understand your environment and situation, your passion, and what kind of a person you are.
Chen Anqi, School of Physical Science and Technology
Major: Material Science
Next Step: Pursuing PhD at ShanghaiTech University
Lesson learned: When I was a freshman student here, I was a little bit afraid of trying new things and participated in only things I was interested in. This habit limited myself and prevented me from knowing new things. If I could choose again, I would try different activities.
Biggest change: I’ve become more confident and know myself and my future plan more deeply.
Advice: Seize the opportunities and try to experience more.
Lyu Wentao, School of Information Science and Technology
Major: Computer Science
Next Step: Pursuing Master’s Degree at ShanghaiTech and if possible start a startup
Lesson: From vice president Lu I learned the most important thing is to learn yourself and declare what person you want to become.
Biggest change: I had only a rough feeling of my future four years ago, but now I have already know what I want and what I need, as well as a very clear path planning the next years.
Advice: Everyone in ShanghaiTech is the unique, so don’t simply copy others' advice. Make your own decisions and live your own life.
Zhu Haolong, School of Life Scence and Technology
Major: Life Science
Next Step: Pursuing PhD at Johns Hopkins University
Most important lesson: When you have a idea, don’t hesitate and just do it. You gradually get more and more matured through extensive hands-on experiences, from both your successes and failures.
Biggest change: My attitudes toward success and failure have changed in the past four years. I pay more attention to the process than the results. (Results are very important. We want things to go well. Don’t get me wrong.) We should admit that failures are sad and disappointing, but at the same time, we grow up tremendously through sadness, disappointment, and suffering. That’s the stage where we learn how to get things back on track.
Advice: Think about your dreams and life goals. Then do your best to approach them. Put things into practice and never be afraid of failures as they will always occur. Be brave and be yourself; you are going to decorate your unique life with cool experiences.