I am the “invisible” third-year student in society

In the past two days, the score lines of college entrance exams around the world have been announced one by one. The internet is full of people sharing the joy of high-scoring candidates, but few people can pay attention to those who have just reached the undergraduate line.

If you took the college entrance exam years ago, you may have noticed that the majority of provinces and cities across the country have abolished the third batch of undergraduate admissions and combined it with the second batch. In other words, what we call the “third baccalaureate” has basically retired from the history of the college entrance examination.

For a long time, the third baccalaureate students, as the bottom of the undergraduate stigmatization chain, suffered from all kinds of embarrassment, stigma and unfair treatment. Although the third bachelor’s degree has been abolished, the former third bachelor’s students have not been freed from this label.

More than anyone else, these students can appreciate that the effects of that one exam will continue to stay with them.

Xiao Gao, 2014, Jiangsu Candidate

-1 – The English Listening Accident

My name is Xiao Gao and I am 25 years old.

I worked hard in my senior year of high school and was in the top 20 of my grade. At that time, I had a target college, Beijing Foreign Studies University.

In 2014, I took the college entrance exam. I did pretty well in language and math, but when I took the English test, an unexpected situation happened.

A boy sitting behind me at that time kept knocking on the table with his ID card while listening to the listening. The volume of the sound was just loud enough to disturb me, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hear it, but I couldn’t listen to it at the same time.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to hear, but at the same time I couldn’t listen. I was basically blindfolded on all 20 listening questions, and I was completely out of my mind for the entire English exam.

Before the results came out, I had a feeling I would not do well on the test, but I thought I could at least get into the second grade, but I didn’t even make it to the second grade. Our family owned a small restaurant at the time, and when the results came out I was completely devastated, crying in the store, unable to restrain myself.

My dad came over and said, “Don’t cry, there are people eating, let others see what it looks like. “

I was still crying. My dad is a disabled person, so he hit me twice with his cane, and I couldn’t stand it.

I didn’t even think I would go to a third-grade school before the college entrance exam, so I was already very aggrieved, and my dad hit me twice in that situation, so I felt even worse. My father’s wallet happened to be on the table, I took a pile of money, and did not count how many, and left home.

After arriving at Xuzhou train station, I felt very confused. I didn’t know where I was going, I just had a hard time facing the fact that I was going to Sanbon.

-2 – “Reversal” of life

When I applied, my family reassured me that it was okay to be a third-year student, and that I could work in a factory after graduation.

I had expected to be a diplomat, a professional woman like Wu Yi. What they said pulled me into the world of assembly lines and factory girls. I felt that my life had been reversed at once.

In the end, I chose to go to an independent college affiliated with a 211 university in the province, and accidentally entered the English department that I had failed in the entrance exam.

I thought at first, the three is to use the high cost of tuition to buy a diploma, but after enrollment found that this is not the case, my classmates, rich people are very few, most from rural areas. In fact, we all came to this school with a great sense of frustration and guilt, and we all chatted tacitly avoiding the topic of college entrance exams.

Our teacher at the time, who took both 211 and us, would say in class, “211 students are just not the same as you. He had a preconceived notion that third-year students would not be very good and would not achieve much in the future, so his own teaching attitude was not correct.

After I started freshman year, I became out of place, too. I started to shrink myself in the corner, and sat in the corner of the library, slowly distancing myself from others.

Then people started to isolate me. At that time, my roommate changed the locks of the dormitory to keep me out. Maybe my performance and mentality that I didn’t belong to this environment made others think I thought I was too high.

In the first semester of my freshman year, I took second place in my major. When the results were sent to the class group, my roommate said, “What’s wrong with that? “

-3 – “Highly talented” boyfriend

I started looking for companions on the internet. At that time, I liked to visit Zhihu and answer some questions about English translation, and some people started to follow me.

But Zhihu’s kind of “985 per capita” environment often made me very stressed. I still remember seeing a few questions, such as, “Why do third-year students emphasize GPA ? ” “Why do students who are not a bachelor’s degree say they are from a dual non-graduate school? ” “What’s the difference between a third-grade school and a college? ” “Why don’t third-year students study and eat, drink, and play every day? “

These questions were very depressing to me. Then I would go back to read some posts of “third-graders against the odds” to comfort myself and find balance for myself.

I met my first boyfriend on Zhihu, he is a top university senior. I already liked smart guys, and this feeling became more obvious after I went to college.

We would talk about some of the more ambitious propositions at first, and I wanted to use this to show how close I felt to him intellectually. Slowly, our relationship grew.

I remember the night it rained heavily in my city. He made a voice call to me and confessed his love for me.

I sidetracked him and told him that my school was not very good and asked him to reconsider. But he was so sure of himself that he told me that he liked me and that none of that mattered. So I got together with him with a little bit of inferiority and timidity.

I am a very sensitive person and have high self-esteem. He was more mute, but I could feel that he was careful to maintain my self-esteem.

The first time I went to see him at their school, he and his classmates were in the lab doing experiments, and I had the decency to buy a comparable number of milk teas and puff my way up to the second floor.

After his classmates got the milk tea, he was very enthusiastic to ask him to introduce me, I did not expect him to introduce me as “a 211 university students. “

I still don’t know if he said this for his own face or for my pride. I was still smiling and greeting them, but I felt a strong sense of loss.

-4 – They couldn’t see us

Since he had to do the experiment, I went to sneak around the school by myself. His school was especially nice, and at that time I passed by their art gallery, which was playing “Secret Love of Peach Blossom”. I remember there was also a big grove of trees and I saw black swans. As I walked along, I was greeted by students walking past with confident smiles.

I had a very strong feeling of being a stranger in a foreign land.

I pretended in my mind that I was a student of this school to experience that feeling, but the more I felt, the sadder I felt.

When he graduated, he also came to visit me in my city. But I didn’t take him to our school. Our school is very small, just as big as my high school, and the school building is also the feeling of the 80s and 90s, very dilapidated.

One of the reasons we finally broke up was also because of the gap in education. At that time he was in Shenzhen, let me go to his place after graduation. I said, I can’t find a good job in Shenzhen, and I want to graduate school. He said back to me, “It’s okay, I can earn money, you take care of the family can. “

He didn’t mean any harm, but he positioned me in such a role and felt that I must not be as successful in my career as he was. He sees his future as important, and my future is attached to his future above all else.

I used to think that high achievers like my ex-boyfriend looked down on third-grade students in particular. Later, I found out that this is not the case, they simply can’t see us.

-5-Prove Yourself

After I went to college, I didn’t want to ask my parents for money anymore. So I started to work part-time and intern, and never asked my family for any money. And I redirected my career. In the first semester of my freshman year, I switched my major to accounting with the top grade.

I had an opportunity to do an internship in a foreign company, and I needed to go to the unit with full attendance. The teacher said that if I didn’t attend class, I could only get a passing grade, and it would depend on the test scores.

At that time, the internship site is very far from the school, I took the company’s shuttle bus to go in the morning, more than five o’clock to get up, after the car with the phone to brush the accounting question bank, until brush to get off.

At that time, colleagues called me the god of sleep. We do not rest at noon, 4:30 pm after work, I will sleep on the return shuttle. If there is no traffic on the road, I may still have half a class when I get to school, and I will go to the class.

Before this I have also been doing driving school admissions, in the cafeteria to the students, as long as it is not illegal and can make money, I will do it. On a good day, my monthly income can reach more than 10,000.

I was very eager to prove my ability. I also took all kinds of high-caliber qualifications and certificates, just to make HR stay on my resume for even one more second.

Of course, the reality is not that simple.

My resume always looks good. During the school recruitment, there was a Shanghai state-owned enterprise in our school, and only I, a person from a third college, got into the second round. Of course, I was brushed off in the end.

I sometimes don’t write my undergraduate school on my resume, but only a certain campus of a certain university, playing a rubbish. If HR asked me about this, I would tell them that it was an independent college. Then, they would give a perfunctory “oh”.

I knew that my interview was over.

Over the years, I’ve been looking for outside recognition. I was told that I would give the illusion that I graduated from a good university. I would feel proud because it proved that I was out of that group.

But at the same time, I also felt sad because I didn’t have a chance, I was already nailed to the “pillar of shame” that my undergraduate degree was from a third-tier college.

In 2018, when she graduated from college, Xiao Gao had already gotten a few good offers, but she wanted to earn more money and decided to work in Africa because of her curiosity. Xiao Gao says her dream was to be a diplomat, and now she works with an international team in Africa every day, which is not too far from her dream. The English language that led to her failure in the college entrance exams has become her ability to stand out and has been helping her move on to broader horizons.

Now that Gao has worked in Africa for three years and earned enough money to pursue graduate studies overseas the year before next year, her second life may just be beginning.

Haha, 2007, Beijing Candidate

-1 – “Sea Runner”

My name is Haha, and I am a Beijinger.

The college entrance exam environment in Beijing is not so depressing, and I have a big heart, so I didn’t fall in love early or play games when I was in school, but I just didn’t do well. My expectation for myself was to “keep the second grade”.

I took the college entrance exam in 2007, and the policy in Beijing at that time was to apply first before taking the exam. My dad had a friend at a university in the south, and he wanted me to fill out the application form as the first choice, so that I could get in if my score was lower. This school is not in Beijing, and my mom didn’t want me to go that far from home, so she didn’t approve of it.

When I filled out the volunteer form, I jokingly filled out the bottom school, Beijing City College. This school was quite famous among our students because it was privately run and was formerly called “Haidian University of Distance Learning”, so we disliked it so much that we gave it the nickname “Haidian Running University”, or “Hai Runer “.

The two days of the college entrance examination were particularly hot, and the examination room was not air-conditioned, and I always felt that I had a little heatstroke that afternoon of the English exam. I thought I had done very well in English, but I ended up with more than 90 points, and my usual exams are above 110.

It was my mother who called on the day of the score check, and it was hard for me to face this unknown result. I really didn’t do too well, 7 points lower than the second grade line.

I’m sure that all of the schools I had applied to were out of luck, and my mom didn’t want me to go to the first one, so I wanted to see what schools I could get into. I had chosen a school to submit to the system, only to find that my file had been transferred.

The first time I checked, I found out that the “Sea Runner” had accepted me.


That summer was probably the darkest period of my life. When I woke up in the morning, I hid in the desk under my bed, which was the only place in my house where I could be surrounded by three sides. It was safe and dark, and if my mom talked about me, I would cry in there.

My mom wouldn’t just pick on me about my grades, she would give you a 360° view of what was wrong. One time my mom and I had a big fight and I hid in the bathroom and cried while writing about all my flaws.

At that time I was in complete denial about myself and felt that I was bad at everything. And this school would also cost more money, over 10,000 a year, and our family wasn’t particularly well off.

I am not a person with a very good memory, but after all these years, I can still recall the feeling of special despair I felt at that time.

When my sister-in-law saw that I was not doing well, she wanted to take me to Nan Daihe for a break.

Before leaving, I also wrote a “suicide note” to my mother, telling her that I had failed the exams and was sorry for their upbringing all these years. I also wrote down the list of TV programs she wanted to watch.

I also wrote that I had heard that there was a lot of water and grass in the Nan Dai River, and I didn’t know if I would drown if I went swimming. But even if I drown, I have given her the list of programs, so she will know how to watch TV in the future.

In this mood, I went to play with my sister-in-law. That night, my mom called my sister-in-law and told her about it. My sister-in-law then enlightened me a little. I went back to my room with a high fever, I think this should be a manifestation of my psychological stress and depression during that time.

The next day I got up and everything was fine.

-3 – Study hard

After I enrolled in school, I realized that the third grade was not as bad as I thought it would be.

My major is Information Management and Information Systems, a science major, although I studied liberal arts in high school. The first day I entered the classroom, my classmates were quite different from my imagination, and everyone wasn’t very murderous, they were especially normal and simple.

I’ve always been a student, in high school I saw some students studying to vomit blood, so I may not be willing to work hard.

When I was in college, I saw the most exaggerated study is my bunk, her bed all year round around the mosquito net, we call it “Pansi cave”, she went in every day after the She has been reading English every day, more serious than those of us who have time to go out and play, but her grades are just a little higher than mine.

Maybe many people don’t work hard after they go to college, but I think I still have to do everything I need to do well. I will begin to review a month or two before the exam, skilled to the extent that the exam questions can be recited backwards, when the exam can be turned in 30 or 40 minutes, other students are still biting the pen to read the questions, I have done out.

Basically, I was able to get above the third place in every subject, and I won scholarships every year.

-4 – Can’t transfer

To ease my parents’ burden, I started my internship very early. The first job was quite pleasant, and no one used my third degree status to pressure me. But I didn’t end up joining because the pay was too low.

Then I changed jobs and worked as a human resources intern in a state-owned enterprise, responsible for pre-recruitment screening resumes and other work. My vision of screening was still quite accurate, and I got along well with my colleagues, and everything was going well.

That is, until I told my boss that I wanted to be transferred.

One day near the end of the day, I was called to the conference room. The conference room was very large, especially “state-owned enterprises”, inside a long mahogany table, I sat on one side, my boss sat across from me with his feet crossed and smoked, and we were both very far away from each other. We were very far away from each other.

He asked, “You want to be transferred, right? I said yes.

He asked me, “What makes you think you can make the switch? I gave a brief overview of my work performance.

Then he said in a particularly contemptuous tone, “Do you know what the backgrounds of the people here are? “

I just froze, I don’t know what other people’s backgrounds have to do with me, I just want to get the job done. He started counting with me, what college this person graduated from, what PhD that person has, and what double degree someone has.

I knew what he meant was that I couldn’t switch. That was the first time I felt that education would indeed be a hindrance.

I wanted to cry, I didn’t understand, I was doing a good job, and my colleagues liked me, but I tripped over my education. Shouldn’t we look at the ability first and then the education?

The boss said that I could stay, but I had to sign an outsourcing contract, not as a regular employee, and I would only get a salary of more than 2000 per month.

Of course, I couldn’t say “I don’t accept” directly to the boss, and just said I would think about it. The next day I told my boss that I decided to leave.

When it was almost the end of the day, my colleague called me to the conference room and I saw everyone from our department there. The leader suddenly began to praise me and said “thank you on behalf of everyone”, and asked everyone to stand up and bow to me.

I was stunned, too dramatic. Two days ago he was crossing his legs in contempt of me, but today he gave me a bow. I hurriedly said, “No, don’t, don’t, break your life. “

-5- Every decision that has brought me to this day

My experience has taught me the most important thing is to “rely on yourself. If you rely on yourself, you’ll be less anxious about a lot of things.

The job search has actually inspired me to assume that if I am lacking in education, I have to work harder in other areas to be equal to or even better than others.

I think a lot of people’s efforts stop at the end of their high school exams. But in the workplace, education is just a door knocker for the kind of results you want to get, it’s not the whole story.

For a simple example, when I was an assistant at the beginning, there were more than 100 people in the department, and I had to count attendance every month. I could do it in half a day and never made a mistake. I always thought everyone was like that. Until later the company recruited an intern to do this, the girl did not understand the calculation for three days.

I was a little surprised that her school was better than mine. At that time I realized that the gap between people and people is actually quite large.

By this year I have graduated 10 years ago, now the annual salary of 500,000, life is also very happy, I do not want to thank fate, I want to thank is my own, is the past every step let me go to today.

If there is a superpower, I really want to travel back to the summer after the college entrance exams, in my book full of shortcomings to leave a message from 10 years later: Hey, listen, in the future, you have become a kind, inclusive, exceptionally strong you.

So, don’t be afraid, just keep going.

Always believe in yourself. The entrance exam is just the end of your high school career, but it is the beginning of your future life. You must go on to do what you want to do and become the person you want to be.