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About face

By Zhang Yue and Xu Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2012-10-08 09:48

About face

Tsinghua University freshmen box during their compulsory military training. Photos Provided to China Daily

About face

A poster created by Tsinghua University students shows their group singing during a drill.

About face

Tsinghua students march in a parade on the drill grounds.

University freshmen discover compulsory military training's value. Zhang Yue reports in Beijing and Xu Jingxi finds in Guangdong.

Liu Yu is proud of being enrolled in Tsinghua University's Academy of Art and Design but is dreading one compulsory step - the two-week military training freshmen must complete.

The 18-year-old from Hebei province says she has heard a lot about how tough the training is.

"People say it's exhausting," she says.

"You have to hike for miles every day."

Liu followed older students' advice. She packed towels in her boots during the drills to alleviate foot pain.

"That turned out to be very, very helpful," she says.

Liu was surprised to discover the military training, while taxing, turned out to be her favorite university experience so far.

It's harder for some than others. Peking University's student clinic made about 6,000 diagnoses during the training.

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