Skip to Main Content

Living Library: 29th

Living Library

Living Books

Youzhou Zhou

Know yourself and listen to your heart

Lecturer, Department of Pure Mathematics

I am nobody who barely agrees with common sense.  Even so, my attitude toward each warm word, either from books or bequeathed by my senior friends and peer fellows, is sincere and consistent.  I think someone like me can easily circumvent involution, because I can hardly agree with ritual belief, only hoping to understand what interest me. Just as a poem once put it

“keen to read,

reluctantly seek profound comprehension,

once enlightening idea shines upon,

the universe talks to me!”

Qinlin Wang

The girl who keeps chasing

Senior in 2020, major in civil engineering/One year extension for Imperial College of environmental engineering in 2021

National scholarship winner / two-year academic scholarship winner / honorary student of West Jiaotong University of Liverpool / founder of Suzhou MID Tourism Culture Co., Ltd. / manager of knowknow platform

Before going to college, she practiced sports, appeared on TV, and became an art student... She did a lot of cool things in her eyes, just to be different from others. But what do you really want to do? She didn't know.

After going to university, she began to learn to concentrate on one thing. She was committed to making contributions to the field of environment and transportation. This process is very difficult, especially for a college entrance examination score in entering XJTLU, only three points higher than the admission line of Qinlin. During her study in XJTLU, she began to make plans from her freshman year and studied seriously.

Finally, she got the postgraduate admission letters from Imperial College of technology and University College London.

When she stopped pursuing the superficial "cool", she found what she wanted to do most in XJTLU and became a different person in other people's eyes.

Mengyao Zheng

Curious about the world, honest with myself

Year 4 Financial Mathematics

2020 National Scholarship/Havard University, Yale University, UChicago, UCB, Columbia Offer holder/IEEE IoTJ publication/ACM publication/Academic Excellence Scholarship for 3 years/Research Assistant at CNCL, Nanyang Technological University

From the worst in mathematics in Gaokao to the top 1% in mathematics, why did I like mathematics again?

From the top 1% in Accounting to the top 1% in Financial Mathematics, to the publication of SCI Journal in machine learning, and to the admission to Harvard in biostatistics, I tried my best in every attempt, but I didn't get stuck in sunk costs. I don't regret the ups and downs of four years.

From ACCA to GRE, from financial audit to python CNN, how to overcome anxiety and defeat confusion, regain the passion for life and curiosity about the world?

Do not close yourself, stay curious, and actively seek your own sense of mission and eternity.

Come and listen to the story of Mengyao.

Qinyu Ni

Self-yoke and liberation, the courage to pursue self-worth

Year 4 Bioinformatics

Rock’n’roll lover/Academic Excellence & Achievement Award/volunteer of Animal Protection/2018 IGEM member/Offered by Carnegie Mellon University Master/Bakery Scout.

If my four years of university were a process of confronting with myself, then the gap year after graduation gave me a buffer period for reconciliation with myself. Broadly speaking, I have done everything that please myself but those related with my undergraduate and graduate majors: Internship in a bakery, doing cultural and creative design, taking financial-related certificates, try to learn CG, and Japanese. Under the push without external goals, it is more about listening and recording the inner self. I want to know more things that can make me recognize myself and be happy. It will be regrettable to make any choice. Sometimes gain is to lose. Occasionally, it is better to abandon secular and utilitarian ideas and taste the clarity of romanticism. Since happiness is long-standing in no case, if you are positive and full of spirit in exploring yourself, it is worthwhile to let it be one more second. I always believe that the best joy comes from ourselves.


Chongjie Xu

"Monsters in Suzhou" - a fantastic journey, starting from the XJTLU

Module leader of CCT008, Chinese Culture Teaching Center

In the beginning, there were no living beings on the earth. The fall of an alien meteorite brought the seeds of life, and the place of the falling star is now the location of Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University.

Meteorite contains a huge amount of life energy. After falling, the biggest piece of life energy becomes magic dragon.

The rest of the energy is fragmented into the first generation of gods, the ancient gods.

Life energy has the impulse to devour each other, especially the magic dragon, which wants to devour other gods.

The ancient gods united to kill the magic dragon. However, the magic dragon is the crystallization of life, and cannot be completely destroyed, and some gods also want to devour the magic dragon. Finally, all parties compromise and decide to suppress the magic dragon.

The dormant gods wait quietly, waiting to restore their former glory.

The day when the gods return is the time when all living beings wither.


In order to cover up the truth, as a result of the compromise between the eastern and Western gods, a new university was born.

September 1, 2021 is an ordinary day.

A young man named * * walked into Xi’an Jiaotong - Liverpool University.

The history of the world has quietly opened a new page. Many years later, the surviving humans recalled that moment and called it the day of the devil's awakening.

There are thousands of worlds in my heart. When I am free, I will talk to you one by one.



5月25日在中心楼123W, 令人期待已久的真人图书馆开馆喽!

On May 25th, Living Library was held at 123W, Center Building.


This time we invited five guests, namely, Dr. Chongjie Xu, Dr. Youzhou Zhou, Mengyao Zheng, Qinyu Ni and Qinlin Wang. They told us their stories, sharing their life experiences with us, so that we could have more positive energy and more courage to pursue our dreams!


"The earth had no living creatures. The fall of a foreign meteorite brought the seeds of life, and the place where the star fell is now the location of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University." Chongjie Xu told us a story called Monsters in Suzhou - a fantastic journey. He likened the library to a Rubik's Cube, giving energy to the XJTLUers who were reviewing in the dark night. Xu also compared the North Campus to  the Eight Diagrams, and the South Campus to a Hexagram. After listening to his story, XJTLU did look weird!


Did you feel anxious facing involution? Dr. Youzhou Zhou summed up ways to avoid involution through his own experience. The method was to look inward at yourself and pursue your own dream. "Life is a long journey. In order to prevent getting lost, a gentleman always needs to do self-examination." Whenever we feel anxious, we can ask ourselves: Who am I? where am I? What am I doing? Then, continue our journey. In addition, Zhou also took his own experience in learning English as an example, and suggested that we should discover and develop our own advantages.


If you had a chance to travel to the world 200 years from now, would you choose to go? When Mengyao Zhen first saw this question, she answered no directly. She explained that because she did not have the ultimate enthusiasm for a career at that time. This kind of enthusiasm gives people a strong sense of mission, value and purpose. This sense of mission allows us to generate our own worthy convictions, and use this conviction to fight fatigue and anxiety in the battle against time. So how to find a sense of mission? She suggested that we should first have a basic understanding of the world, become curious about the world, and be honest with ourselves.


What is the sense of youth? Qinyu Ni told us that the sense of youth was the courage to make changes, to self-recognize, and to take responsibility for their own lifestyle and freedom. Because we lacked the courage to be responsible for our own lives and always lived in the expectations of others, we felt unhappy. She used her internship experience at a bakery to tell us that the cost of trial and error at this age was relatively low. We should be ourselves, have a sense of youth, and chase our dreams!


"Money was earned. Work was done!" This is the self-introduction of Qinlin Wang, the girl who keeps chasing. She not only started a business during college, but also gained admission to Imperial College London. "How high you stand, How far you can see." She told us that life is full of infinite possibilities from the perspectives of entrepreneurship and learning. "Nothing is unachievable."


After listening to the sharing of the five guests, we have benefited a lot. We also learned about the hardships behind each success. However, since we have chosen to go, we have to face the difficulties! There is a whole big and interesting world waiting for us! Go for our dreams!