|Zhang Yeju, a law student at China University of Political Science and Law was greeted by another student on his way to class. The problem was Zhang, 19, did not know the guy at all.
While they talked about the weather Zhang tried hard to recall the stranger’s name before the duo enter the same classroom.
“I felt a bit embarrassed when I chatted with him without knowing his name,” said Zhang.
According to Zhang this was not the first time he’s had a “stranger encounter” on campus.
There are 60 people in his class, but Zhang knows the names of fewer than 30 of them after a year of study.
According to a recent survey conducted by MyCOS HR Digital Information Co, a consulting firm on higher education, about 40 percent of students in university admitted that they have problems with interpersonal relationships.
Zhang Jitao, associate professor of sociology at Hubei University, sees a new trend on campus: to have smaller circles of friends who are more diverse and unique.
“Having your life revolve around a small group of friends might have a negative impact on one’s future career after school,” said Zhang to Chutian Metropolitan Daily.
However, students seem not to worry about it at all.
Qin Yuanyuan, 20, a junior biology major at Guangxi University sees no need to expand his social circle when he has access to the Internet.
“The Internet has developed so well that I can get nearly everything online. I don’t need to gain knowledge, get information or have fun with friends around. Instead, I can make friends online,” said Qin.
The more time students spent on the Internet, the less they paid attention to those around them, said Li Zixun, of the psychology department of Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital.
But Li considers it is not always a bad thing for students to live independently in campus.
“This generation does not rely on social contacts to make them feel secure. They can live independently without having any relationships. It is an advantage in cultivating diverse thoughts among young people,” said Li.
He Xiao, a freshman at Hubei University, agrees. He thinks as long as one enjoys friendships and share similar interests and attitudes, it is not necessary to have a wide range of acquaintances.
“For me, having several friends to play basketball with and have midnight snacks with are enough. I think the most important thing is that you can have fun,” said the 19-year-old computer science major.
According to psychologist Li Zixun from Beijing, heavy pressure on students is fueling the estrangement on campus.
“When young people spend so much time and energy studying, it is common to pay less attention to others,” said Li. “Socializing also requires time and energy.”