I do not regret I choose CUHK(SZ) four years ago. It is not because of the result of my graduate application, but because it gives me an unmatchable undergraduate experience.
Something About My Background
If you are a newcomer, you must be curious about my background, or more specifically, my background in Gaokao. Even during CUHK’s interview, my prospected supervisor also asked me this question: Why do you choose CUHK(SZ), and what else schools can you go to?
Dating back to the summer of 2017, I was a normal student in the best class in science at my high school (i.e., 理科重点班). I was an OIer since primary school, where I learned Pascal, which I will discuss in another passage reviewing my programming career. Unfortunately, I am a rather guy with a Buddha-like mindset (i.e., 佛系) who learns only because of interest. And consequently, unlike most of you who got a conditional/unconditional admission before Gaokao, I had to take it as a normal student.
No Miracle in Gaokao
Frankly speaking, the knowledge I learned from OI did not contribute a lot to my Gaokao. In the competition of Gaokao, I was an average one ranking in the middle of my class. No miracle in Gaokao and my score only qualified me to several universities like Sun Yat-Sen University, predominantly I have determined to study Computer Science as my major.
My class in high school is an excellent one. It is exceptional not only because most of my classmates can study in their dream schools but also like a united and friendly family. At that time, I was behind half of my classmates in Gaokao, and sometimes I would dream if I were as clever as them, I might go to a better one and have a totally different undergraduate experience. But now, I understand it is meaningless to regret the past and envy others; more importantly, I should cherish the moment and enjoy life’s procedure.
Why I Choose CUHK(SZ)
Before choosing CUHK(SZ), I only had limited choices, where the other one is Sun Yat-Sen University. I had contacted several students in both CUHK(SZ) and Sun Yat-Sen University online.
Although CUHK(SZ) was a pretty new campus, students here were always optimistic and united. There was no such extreme peer pressure at that time since there were no graduates before 2018. Students here would have more opportunities and have broader horizons not limited by the geographic constraint (you know, the campus is in a developing zone far remote from the downtown and shopping malls). Therefore, CUHK(SZ) gave me a more promising and rising impression.
Another important reason is that the admission office grants me scholarships so that my family would only need to pay a small amount of money for my tuition. Without the scholarship, I may not be able to choose CUHK(SZ). I sincerely appreciate my university for providing me a chance to study here.
What is a Matched University?
In these four years, people asked me why I chose a university that might seem to have such a low scoreline (I am a Guangdong student so the scoreline for the 6-3-1 program is not that high). In my opinion, a higher score in Gaokao should give you more choices instead of greater limitations. Because I was able to join CUHK(SZ) and I thought it is a promising option, I chose it.
I am pleased to see the scoreline of our university increasing rapidly in the past three years. It is gaining more and more reputation and recognition from society, and I hope it will be better in the future. However, I have also witnessed many students campaigning that they came to CUHK(SZ) because they did not do well in Gaokao, and they came here because it seemed to be one matching their score in the perspective of the scoreline. After one or two semesters, they regret their decision because compared to their friends coming to a traditional university in C9, they paid more effort to study but had a more unstable future (usually with a normal GPA).
So I wonder why students would have such a great Mentality Gap (心态落差). And I think the reason is that they consider decisions in one dimension; more specifically, they came to CUHK(SZ) because their scorelines matched.
However, everything has a tradeoff, the most important lesson I learn from Computer Science. Absolutely, the scoreline is only one dimension of factors you should consider when you choose your undergraduate school. It only means you can choose one university, but not you must choose it. A too simplified judgment would significantly impact one’s future.
From my personal point of view, the tradeoff of studying at CUHK(SZ) is that you may have more opportunities to touch the global society. At the same time, you may suffer from more significant uncertainty. You may enjoy more freedom because no tutor (辅导员) constraints you, while you should have an active mind to push yourself. You may even have the space to skip classes, while your punishment would be reflected in your grade. You may apply to foreign graduate programs more comfortably, while you will feel lonely if you decide to apply to a traditional mainland university (考研).
I appreciate CUHK(SZ) a lot. I meet excellent professors, start my research career, and have the opportunity to have one summer at UC Berkeley. I have an enjoyable undergraduate life here because I am diligent. And I know I am active when I made my decision after Gaokao. Hence, I am fortunate to join a matched university.
If You Need Help
If you are a new high-school graduate and would like to consider CUHK(SZ), I would be glad to provide personal consultant service. You may contact me through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment in the following.
Hope everyone reading this passage will have a promising future!