STORY HIGHLIGHTS


China's naughty generation

CNC
Added On January 12, 2018

The last members of China's 90s generation, those born before the millennium, officially attained adulthood on New Year's Eve.
 
Now it's the turn of those born in the naughties.
 
Zuo Xiao, born in 2000, is in her second year of High School in Yinchuan, northwest China. 
 
She is a versatile class monitor, who has excellent grades. She likes to write novels, plays flute well, and was also the winner of a national math talent competition.
 
Like Zuo, most young people of the "post-00s" generation are multi-skilled, with bags of interests. 
 
A recent survey shows that almost 100 percent of Chinese children attend extra-curricular classes based on their interests.
 
SOUNDBITE (Chinese): ZUO XIAO, High school student
"There is no shortcut in study but to work hard. I worked hard during the semester and made some progress. To develop some extra-curricular interests is good. It is very important to consider learning as a pleasure but not drudgery. Then you can achieve better performance naturally."
 
Through fierce competition, Zuo was selected for the Harvard Summit for Young Leaders in China - the annual summer conference held for Chinese high school students. 
 
There she will meet Harvard undergraduates, faculty, and prominent leaders from both nations. 
 
SOUNDBITE (Chinese): ZUO XIAO, High school student
"The summit assembled many excellent 'post-2000s' across the country. Besides being ready to help the others, they have a lot of shining points. They are talented, innovative, and would like to do something for our country.
Some of them decide to pursue a career in laws, some want to better our legal system, making our country more prosperous. I believe we 'post-2000' generation are a group of young people who have initiative; we have dreams and try to make it come true; and we are full of positive energy. I think these are our characteristics, setting us apart from our predecessors."
 
Compared with the "post-80s" and the "post-90s" generation, those born in the naughties in China have had a more comfortable life and face broader horizons. 
 
As such, they are often self-driven, bold and over-mature.
 
Researchers say this generation are more likely to get involved in social activities and make their voices heard through media.
 
Although in Zuo's eyes, her generation also have a lot of problems such as poor self-care ability and psychological endurance. 
 
But that doesn't stop them from dreaming big.
 
SOUNDBITE (Chinese): ZUO XIAO, High school student
"As for my dream, I think I am an idealized person. My dream is to be a legal professional in the future. I would like to do something to perfect the legal mechanism in our country. I hope one day, my dream of rewarding virtue and punishing vice will come true. The world, as well as China, will become better."
 
For Zuo and her friends, 2018 is a momentous year - filled with expectation and anxiety.
 
SOUNDBITE (Chinese): ZUO XIAO, High school student
"I will be a grown-up this year. To be honest, I feel a little bit confused and nervous, but more of the expectation to the future. I hope I can achieve my dream. My parents are getting older. As an adult, I must shoulder more responsibilities. That is my feeling, hope with tension."
 
With 2018 now underway, the future belongs to the "naughty" generation.