Running away from home for 16 years because he didn’t graduate from college

ChinaAshamed of not graduating from university, Mr. Wang cut off contact with his family, living in Xi’an for 16 years.

Xi’an city police said that when Wang came to ask for an extension of his identity document recently, they found the 39-year-old man was on the missing list. Authorities verified Wang’s information, investigated Wang’s background and connected with his family in Shandong.

According to police investigation, Mr. Wang was a good student in high school. In 2001, he entered Chang’an University (Xian, Shaanxi Province), a school in the top 100 best universities in China. However, living far from home, student Wang became addicted to video games and dropped out of school. Since 2005, Wang has cut off contact with his parents. Over the years, he worked odd jobs that didn’t need to be registered with the local government.

Wang knelt down to apologize to his mother when he left for 16 years, on November 16. Photo: Xiashi News

After investigating Wang’s identity, the authorities helped him reunite with his family on November 16. “I was embarrassed because I dropped out of college so I didn’t dare to look at my parents’ faces,” he explained to the media.

Father Wang said he went to Xi’an at least twice a year to look for his son. Each time, he stayed for about a week, walking every street and going to every Internet cafe. “My heart broke when I couldn’t find him,” he said.

Wang’s mother thought he was dead. In her heart, she prepared for the worst. “I can’t live happily for a day thinking about the misfortunes that may happen to him. Now that I see Wang again, I don’t blame him, I’m just happy,” the mother said.

Although Wang’s actions were considered extreme, the media said that the Chinese education system put a lot of pressure on students. In 2018, the Chinese government banned university students who failed the exam twice from retaking the exam.

Stress in the race to study, the pressure of life has led to the trend of “letting go and let life go” of young people in their twenties in China.

Huang Ping, a professor of literature at East China Normal University in Shanghai, who has studied youth culture for many years, said this lifestyle threatens productivity when the younger generation stops working.

“However, this is also a reasonable response when the younger generation is under a lot of pressure from family and society,” said Mr. Hoang.

According to the professor, the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment, rising prices… are the reasons that weigh heavily on the shoulders of many young Chinese. Not to mention pressure from family, social norms imposed on each individual since they were born.

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