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Gen Z students voice message of love through entrepreneurship | Updated: 2021-12-07 07:00
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For students at foreign language colleges, translation may take up most of their homework or even become a part-time job. But one group of pupils at Beijing Foreign Studies University are trying to "translate" their campus life as a way to voice their generation's message of love and kindness.

They call it "Make 20s Always Alive."

They run an on-campus entrepreneurship project by designing and selling cultural and creative products under the brand "UI".

UI is pronounced similarly to the Chinese word you'ai, meaning "with love."

UI is more than just business for these young people. It's a way to also showcase their humanism and love through creativity.

They launched a new product series called "BFSU heartbeats" in 2020, when the whole world was reeling from COVID-19. The product design is the team's attempt to encourage people to face hard times together.

"All my design integrates elements of heartbeats, using an ECG line going through a variety of objects and landmarks in our university," said Qu Jiaxin, designer of the product series and a BFSU alumna in Russian studies.

"I wanted to show the heartbeats of BFSU students resonate with humankind and that barriers of culture, language and history can be overcome through connection," the 22-year-old said.

The students also ever teamed up to help a member struggling with cancer. That teammate sadly passed away, but their effort brought them together and helped them cope with the loss.

"Her optimism, courage and kindness have always inspired us," recalled Li Chaofan, a postgraduate student in management science and engineering at BFSU and former manager of the UI store.

The 26-year-old is also the one whose team brainstormed the slogan "Make 20s always alive." She thought the 20s is best time in a person's life, and she hopes to highlight this precious period of youth in their creative products.

For a person in his 20s, it's not easy to find where his interest lies, but he was grateful to find passion in UI, said Ren Qianyuan, 21, the current manager of UI and a senior student majoring in Japanese.

Check out this video to learn more about these Gen Z students and their exceptional stories.

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