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"SUSTech Mavericks' Dormitory": Four Years in a World Class University

Jun 26, 2017 Latest

SUSTech's Lakeside dormitory room 1519 is better known as the "SUSTech Mavericks' Dormitory". Its four occupants all received a number of offers from top British and American institutes, and this summer will head to some of the world's best universities to continue their studies.

          Among them, Chemistry graduate Li Bing, a 2017 "Top Ten graduate" has been offered a position at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and the United States Indiana University; Physics graduate Liang Tong received an offer at United States State University of New York Stony Brook, Michigan State University, University of Tennessee, as well as the University of Tokyo in Japan. Chemistry graduate Zibo Zhen was accepted in the University of Pittsburgh, and Indiana State University. Physics graduates Lei Weihua and Liang Tong respectively chose the United States Northwestern University and New York State University Stony Brook while Chemistry graduates Zibo Zhen and Li Bing selected the University of Pittsburgh and Cambridge University.

          Recently, our team interviewed each one of them in the campus' book bar. As we get to know them better, we feel each of them is so high-spirited, full of energy; during the interviews, they talk and laugh, completing each others' answers as soon as we ask a question in a deep and natural atmosphere of friendship and understanding.

Go all out and go hand in hand

          "Clear goals, go all out" is Li Bing, Liang Tong, Lei Weihua and Zibo Zhen's motto for the past four years. When they enrolled in SUSTech, the university was just about grappling with its new status and nobody was sure how things were going to roll out. However, after studying and in-depth exchanges with older students, they realized the importance of "knowledge" and "experience", and during the following semester the idea of studying abroad after graduation started to dawn on them. They entered their mentor's labs in the second year under the guidance of a professional instructor. Finally in their senior years, they were ready to study abroad, applied to the institutes of the United States and Britain that they wanted to go to, and now they've been accepted. At each stage of their time here they were ready and prepared.

          But this process was not always smooth sailing. They encountered difficulties and challenges more than once. "Talk about it, and we'll work together to solve it" is their approach when dealing with these situations. Li Bing worked in the Department of Chemistry alongside Professor Liu Chongyang in the study of chemical laboratory equipment, Zibo Zhen worked alongside Department of Chemistry Associate Professor He Zhenyu in his research on organic metal. Lei Weihua worked in the Department of Physics with Associate Professor He Hongtao's group to study quantum transport, while Liang Tong worked alongside Department of Physics Associate Professor Liu Chang in the field of superconducting materials. All of these research areas require a solid physical or chemical foundation knowledge. The youngsters said: "In our research, difficulties are often encountered and we will always discuss it together, we can solve them together because our professional direction is relatively close, and there are some scientific research bases that are common to us all. Everyone will try to encourage each other, especially when there are difficult times". The solidarity is strong with these ones.

Mutual tolerance, learn from each other

          "It was destiny that brought us under the same roof" they say half-jokingly. As Freshmen when they were randomly assigned to a dormitory, they didn't expect that spending the next 4 years of their life together was going to be so meaningful.

          In life, Li Bing is tolerant and easy-going, likes reading books and insists on exercising everyday. "But he is in some ways very 'traditionally conservative', for example he never really updates his apps on his phone." says Zhen, "Weihua will take the initiative to update them for him." Lei Weihua likes to try new things. He often thinks deeply about problems, and explains that he has a thorough understanding of physics issues. His classmates often ask him questions about topics they don't fully grasp, and he can always provide great answers !". Zhen Yu has a wide range of interests, he pays close attention to various kinds of news, works very hard and has good leadership skills. "He pays attention to many fields of life and has special opinions on all the current affairs". When he was the class monitor, he was always the quickest and most accurate person to give messages to everyone" says Li Bing. Liang Tong is more introvert, but he is good at learning from the others, and enjoys sharing with people. In the last four years, all of them have changed a lot.

          Although they all share a common goal in learning, they each have different hobbies. That doesn't stop them from becoming good friends though, quite the contrary. They have matured and grown up thanks to these differences, and also formed a larger circle of friends.

          Li Bin likes photography, and he was involved in the creation of the "SUSTech Loves Photos" group, but also has to go jogging every evening; Zibo Zhen is a avid commentator on all sorts of current affairs, but also likes walking around the campus. "I personally measured every inch of the campus grounds, and felt the university was changing every day"; Lei Weihua likes music and movies, US TV shows, and literature; Liang Tong likes many sports, he was a member of the College football team, and participated in the university flag classes. Around their dorms, different interests also allowed them to gradually develop a larger circle of friends which they call a ten-member "dinner buddies" group. They will often meet around dinner, go out hiking together, or watch "Open Black" entertainment. Out of the ten, nine chose to go and study abroad, while the tenth one decided to go abroad to find a job.

          Looking back at college life, “diverse experience" and “courageous attempts" are the words which come up the most, and their actions back these two words up. There are many photographers in the university that joined Li Bing's "SUSTech Loves Photo" group. Zibo Zhen was especially active in the student organisations, as the deputy secretary of the party branch, and also in the student union. Lei Weihua and Liang Tong participated in the Guangdong University Student Physics Experiment Design Competition, the International University Physics Competition as well as other academic contests; Liang Tong graduated as the top student of his 2013 Physics class, and organized a lot of activities together, such as department meetings.

          Inside the dormitory in the evenings, the young men would talk about anything, from current affairs policy and international relations to personal feelings and learning life. They expressed their views, shared their emotions, and step by step saw each other grow up.

          They will be separated by distance, and will now have to move on to a new experience. However that doesn't mean they will forget their rich and colorful years at SUSTech, on the contrary, those 4 years will always be bright and shining in their hearts.

Text: Tang Jie

Image: Wang Benfan

Edited by: Jeremy Welburn

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