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China Daily Website

Former security guard enters college

Updated: 2011-09-07 07:29
Zhao Ruixue ( China Daily)

JINAN - Even before arriving on campus, freshman student Jia Zuosheng was well known among his new schoolmates.

Former security guard enters college

Jia Zuosheng, 27, a former security guard at Tsinghua University, drew wide attention after his admission to Shandong Normal University. [Photo/China Daily]

Jia, 27, became an online celebrity after his admission to Shandong Normal University - an achievement earned through years of self-teaching in his spare time while holding down a job as a security guard at the library of Tsinghua University.

"He held onto his dream and succeeded after working for five years, which sets a good example for us," Gao Deming, a junior student, told China Daily.

Jia will study mathematics at the university's Lishan College.

On opening day, he wore a hat to draw less attention to himself as an inflow of media waited on campus to interview him.

"I declined any interviews from the media until Sept 3, the day I returned home from Beijing. I didn't want to be disturbed at that time as I was in an English training class and had several lectures to attend in Beijing," Jia explained, surrounded by dozens of reporters and photographers.

"My dream is to be a college teacher. So I have to pursue further education. That's also the reason why I took the national entrance examination again," Jia said.

"I wish to educate students with my knowledge and love and help them enjoy true, kind and beautiful things."

A native of Jiazhuang village in Shandong province, Jia failed the national college entrance examinations twice.

He then went to study at a voluntary school in Qingdao in 2004, but dropped out because the learning environment there was not good.

He did odd jobs in the following years while continuing to study on his own.

The turning point came at the end of 2009 when Jia landed a job as a security guard at the library of Beijing-based Tsinghua University.

"I cherished the job very much because it provided me with a good chance to read books," Jia said. "I took night shifts so I had plenty of time to study in the daytime."

When he had problems he couldn't work out, Jia plucked up his courage to consult students at Tsinghua.

"The students and teachers at Tsinghua were all friendly to me. They helped me a lot," Jia said.

To strengthen his mind, Jia ran on the school grounds every morning.

"At the beginning I ran 3,000 meters, and then I ran 5,000 meters. I was encouraged by the progress I made every day," Jia said. "I always feel good when I overcome a problem."

His admission into university caused a sensation in his hometown village.

"Our village has never had someone with a bachelor's degree. Most boys work in town after growing up," said Jia's mother Chen Qiuzhen.

Chen said Jia has always been independent and knows what he wants. But she has other concerns.

"He's old enough to get married. I'm not sure whether it's good for him being a university student at this age. But I hope he can get a good job in the future," she said.

Jia wants to eventually pursue a master's degree at Tsinghua University or Peking University.

In regards to tuition, Jia said he will cover the expense himself.

"I have applied for a student loan, and I will work a part-time job. I won't add any pressure to my family," Jia said.

He even threw in some English into his interview, saying: "Everyone will have a new start. Do not let your past defeat your present and future."