Before graduation, GUAN Jiashun an undergraudate from Class 2020, sent a special gift to Tianjin University to celebrate her 125th birthday which is due on October 2. It was a souvenir package made up of 400 begonia-shaped bookmarks and 100 Chiwen-shaped brooches, all designed by GUAN and his friends. The souvenirs will be used to support cultural activities on campus.
“It all began like a movie scene. In April 2019, when begonias were once again in full blossom on campus, my friends and I designed several souvenirs with the money I had saved. It was our first attempt at entrepreneurship. We didn’t do it for money or recognition. We did it because we’re a bunch of best friends who were eager to do something meaningful. That was a very youthful thing to me,” said GUAN.
The special bookmark and brooches GUAN's team design
On the hollowed-out metal bookmark, a begonia is blooming on top of the main gate of Zhengdong Library. The two elements well complement each other to give an elegant look. The brooch is in the shape of Chiwen, a dragon in Chinese mythology. The creature symbolizes peace and tranquility, and its shape is used in the roof design of the 9th Teaching Building on TJU’s old campus. GUAN and his friends poured their love for their alma mater in the artistic design.
“The products were well received by TJU students, alumni, and even students of the primary and secondary schools affiliated with TJU. I could feel the TJU spirit that pulled us together and I was deeply touched by it. That was what encouraged me to build the ‘Reply, 1895’ design team. We took it as our responsibility to pass on the TJU culture,” said GUAN.
While GUAN was busy with the project, he was also faced with the pressure to apply for grad school in the recommendation round, so those days was indeed some bittersweet memories. In those two weeks, GUAN would run for formalities and attend meetings before noon and would spend the rest of the day studying and doing research. “That was when the team started to take shape. The members began to know each other better and exhibited wonderful team spirit to work towards our common goal.”
A party person who has many hobbies isn’t everything about him: he is a straight-A student as well. He studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering, finished his graduation project at MIT, and will be studying as a Ph.D. candidate at Peking University. He attended contests, did much volunteer work, and served as an art director of the student art group.
GUAN at MIT
“Looking back at the years at TJU, there were many moments that I’m especially proud of. These kinds of moments are what I believe an undergraduate student should try to capture. Don’t envy others’ success. Do things that fit your own reality. When I was a freshman, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in the next four years, but I set it as my goal not to leave anything to regret when I graduate. I can say that I has achieved that goal, for I tried everything I could as an undergraduate at TJU,” said GUAN.
GUAN conducting in a chorus contest
GUAN volunteering for the National Games (front row, first from the right)
“The TJU Crabapple Blossom Festival of 2020 was my last in the four years. We hope that what we did can make the crabapple flowers in every TJUer’s heart burst into even fuller blossom.” GUAN and his friends feel proud of doing what they are interested in and giving back to TJU. They see it as something that adds more color to their precious college years.