After failing university entrance exams in 2014, Chao Peng didn’t give up, he tried again and finally gained admission to Sichuan University School of Law in Chengdu this year.
Peng may have lost his arms, but he’s extremely skilled at using his feet. Whereas most of us rely on opposable thumbs to take care of everyday mundane tasks like using chopsticks, he shows us that with plenty of will power anything is possible.
At first he had a hard time making friends with his fellow students who thought he was strange and uneducated, but after proving himself he has gained the support from all of his classmates.
This photoseries from NetEase follows Chao Peng on his first of day university. He wakes up early at 7 a.m., excited to meet his new classmates.
Communal situations like eating at cafeterias are still troublesome for him as he needs help getting his food to the table and takes up two seats while using a spoon with his feet. His school counselor suggested he take food back to his room to eat, but he has declined to do so. When students stare at him too much, he just smiles and nods back at them.
His counselor, Yang Xiaofeng, told reporters that he chose to live in student dorms for the first year of university, though his parents live close by if ever he needs them. His roommate is also a big help when it comes to difficult tasks like squeezing toothpaste out onto his toothbrush.
He estimates it takes him about 18 minutes in the bathroom in the morning and then 20 minutes to walk the 2.1 kilometers from his dorm to the university opening ceremony.
He plans to take extra classes at other schools in the area in order to help himself through an intensive law degree and achieve higher results. His roommate also is there to help him when he needs to go to the library.
Over the weekend we reported on another inspiring freshman student from Henan who also faced great hurdles in her life after losing both of her legs and her parents in childhood.
With the school year starting back up, Chinese media seem eager to show off models of perseverance in the pursuit of education. Though in doing so they also seem to be highlighting the country’s abysmal record in caring for the disabled.
by Daniel Cunningham
[Images via NetEase]