Editor’s Note: Wang Ying is a Social Work student at the OUC’s Tianjin School for the Disabled. She was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma at birth, but the disability doesn’t prevent her from pursuing knowledge. She is a diligent student, and has continued studying to enhance her knowledge. Thus far, she has completed studies in the Social Work programme, as well as in Chinese Language and Literature, Psychology, Law, and other majors. She is passionate about China, both ancient studies and modern literature, and her love for writing has led to published works. We hope that Wang Ying’s story will inspire more students to pursue their dreams and fully realise their potential.

Ever since Wang Ying was a toddler, her parents guided her to read and recite classic Chinese poetry. Thanks to her gifted memory and comprehension ability, Wang Ying was able to memorise the Three Hundred Classic Tang Poetry at one year old, Three Hundred Song Poetry at two, Three Hundred Yuan Dramas at three, and Poems by a Thousand Masters at four; she began to read famous literary works like A Dream of Red Mansions etc. at five, at six she had already read classic works of ancient Chinese literature, such as The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Analects of Confucius, Mencius, The Books of Songs, The Song of Chu, Tao Te Ching, Nan Hua Jing, etc.

When Wang Ying reached school age, she received her elementary education at a regular primary school. She then went to a school for the blind when she was twelve. Life before high school was plain but pleasant for Wang Ying, and she made excellent academic achievements, spending most of her spare time in reading, writing, and elocution in a wide range of studies.

Life could have gone on like this with no worries, continuing with high school education and then on to a university for the blind. However, Wang Ying made a bold decision – she left the school. Such an easy life at the blind school was not what Wang Ying desired. She wanted to study disciplines interesting to her like other normal people. But the cost was bittersweet, for Wang Ying had to spend far more time than her peers studying for high school classes. She systematically read books concerning literature, philosophy, history, psychology, law, sociology, and other subjects to prepare for future college studies.

Chance always favours those who are prepared. In 2011, Wang Ying was admitted into Tianjin RTVU’s Social Work programme. The next year, she began a self-taught exam programme in Chinese language and literature at the Beijing Normal University. Afterwards, she engaged in psychology and law studies in the self-taught exam programme at Peking University. But that was not the end of her studies; later, she had further opportunities to study philosophy and history.

When asked about why she studied so much, Wang Ying said she simply enjoyed learning, that it had become an inseparable part of her life, rooted in her heart, sprouting, blossoming, and ultimately yielding a bounty of opportunities. Some people asked if being so busy exhausted Wang Ying. She merely stated she had no time to tell herself she was tired, and that there was still so much for her to do. She likes trying new things, especially experiencing those she is interested in and thinks are worth doing. Take her academic learning, for example. It is a thorny road to travel, one which sometimes leads to failure, but Wang Ying never gives up easily. Instead, she always tries again after solving a problem.

In addition to being busy with academic work, Wang Ying spends a lot of time writing and publishing her literary works. Her extracurricular life is diversified as well: she is a member of the local writer’s association, has joined many elocution and speech contests, participated in cultural exchanges and performances with disabled people in Russia, gone hiking with her able-bodied peers, studied at famous universities in Beijing and Tianjin, and made friends with speakers on the famous TV show highlighting Chinese traditional culture, Lecture Room.

Wang Ying’s literary work, Facing Life with Smiles, received first prize in the First National Essay Competition for the Blind. Her essay, Whisper in the Moon Night, was published by “Tianjin Worker’s Daily.” She has also been invited to join several TV programmes on Chinese culture, poems, and the like. Her efforts have earned a number of acknowledgements, such as being made a member of the Tianjin Jinghai District Writer’s Association, China Blind Person’s Literary Association, etc.

Her life is full of lofty ambitions, and Wang Ying continues her pursuit of new experiences.

By Tianjin School, OUC School for the Disabled