I was born in beautiful Yanji, the capital city of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. I loved learning from an early age, finding it easy to learn maths, as well as the Hundred Family Names and the Three Character Classic. I always ranked top of the class at school and my father proudly collected my certificates of honour.

I am a primary-school teacher and a student at the Handan Radio and Television University (Handan RTVU). Before enrolling there, I had been working as a teacher, following my dream. But after starting work, I found that my training was insufficient. As General Secretary Xi Jinping has said, “A dream starts with learning, and a career with practice. These days, what we need to know changes rapidly, and slacking off means falling behind.

What is happiness? Older people say happiness is memories of childhood. Children say happiness is playing during the holidays. Traveler say happiness is returning home. Everyone has a different definition of happiness, but we are all in pursuit of it.

For five years, since junior college, I was studying at the Zhaoqing affiliated school at the Guangdong branch of the Open University of China (OUC). I am from the countryside, and started to work at 18 after graduating from technical secondary school.

I work at the Hebei Branch of China Construction Bank. I am very grateful to have been given this chance to meet all of you.

In 2015, when I was 45 years old, and out of school for 22 years, I enrolled at the OUC as a Chinese Language and Literature major. Many people had questions for me. One colleague said, “You already have an accounting certificate and an undergraduate diploma. You have a good job with a decent income, and you're old. Why bother studying Chinese Language and Literature?” And a friend wondered, “How can you focus on learning when you have your parents and children to take care of, not to mention your work?”

I have a good mother. But she is not only my mother; she is also a classmate. Due to my low educational level, I was repeatedly turned down by employers, and felt helpless and hopeless about my future. Then my mother heard of the "One College Student per Village" programme offered by the OUC, which aims to cultivate technical and management personnel who are "willing to stay and be helpful with the work" of rural areas. I thought this programme would suit me well as a “probationary village official". My mother, with little education herself, encouraged me to go to the OUC for further studies, and was also eager to be admitted to it to improve herself.

My name is Yuan Wenqian. I come from Xiuwen County, Guizhou Province, where the Yang-Ming Mind Theories originated.
I am a retired soldier, and a sophomore studying Law at the OUC’s Guizhou Branch. When I look back on my years in the army, I feel delighted to see how quickly I grew up there. My army life changed me from an innocent young girl to a warrior with an unbreakable heart. However, as it came time for me to leave, I began to panic.

I come from Shangli County, Pingxiang, at the border of Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces, and am a self-employed entrepreneur. Even though Shangli County is located in a remote mountainous area, a strong respect for culture and education exists there.

Time slips away whether we like it or not, and upon looking back we find that the past is partly hidden in memory and partly visible. City skyscrapers are rising high into the sky and the streets are growing wider and flatter, with pedestrians walking fast. The clang and rhythm of the streets are accompanied by the unease that comes with change. With the pressures that we face, how can we find a tranquil corner for a rest?