But there is no turning back time.

My four years of university have come to an end. At the last moment, I couldn't even return to school to attend the graduation ceremony. No graduation photo, no graduation gown, and even the outstanding graduates didn't have the opportunity to go on stage for this ceremony.

Seeing my former classmates posting their graduation photos, I felt like an orphan. I watched from here, observing a world that belonged only to them.

I still remember the first day I arrived in Wenzhou. It was drizzling, and because I didn't know where the express delivery point was or what I should send, a large package sent from home was delivered to the town. My dad and I carried a large bag of luggage and walked a long way to the dormitory where I would spend the next three years. I complained about why the dormitory was so crowded, why university life was different from what I saw on TV dramas, and why I didn't have like-minded companions. As a newcomer, I didn't have any common topics with my roommate. I didn't play games or have any social circles. I wasn't good at socializing or expressing myself, and for a long time, I felt isolated. Because of this, there were some conflicts at times. At that time, I didn't want to compromise and I didn't have a clear future plan, so I decided to take the postgraduate entrance examination as soon as possible. I bought study materials for the exam and started preparing early. But I wasn't someone who loved studying, I never was.

Later, I got involved in the front-end development community and started learning front-end development. I began to see a clear path for my future and decided not to pursue postgraduate studies, but to go further on a different path. Compared to most people around me, I was probably one of the few who had an idea about the future at an early stage. In terms of school courses, I started slacking off like most people, but instead of wasting time, I spent most of my time learning front-end development knowledge. When the final exams were approaching, my roommates and I also started cramming. I was no longer striving for a high GPA, so the final exams were just a formality.

In my sophomore year, I accidentally got a remote internship opportunity, which became a guiding light for my confusion. Then the pandemic happened. That winter vacation was unusually long, like the days of going back to high school for extra classes, starting online classes. Online classes were just a formality for us, and skipping classes became even easier. After that five-month-long vacation, returning to the dormitory was still isolating, attending online classes. After such a long time apart, everyone became unfamiliar. I was still the one who didn't fit in, appearing as a loner. But deep down, I still wanted to have my own small circle of friends.

Soon, I entered my junior year, which was probably the most carefree period of my life. After six months of accumulated internship experience, I also had a small amount of disposable income. I immersed myself in the joy of buying electronic products and the happiness of playing single-player games. Those were the days when I had the least worries and lived the most carefree life. Although I would occasionally feel melancholic or depressed, those feelings would quickly be diluted by the happiness. It's great to live worry-free. But it only lasted for a few months. Those few months were the happiest time of my life.

The last year was a turning point in my life. I made a decision and embarked on a long journey of job hunting. It wasn't because the company I interned at was bad, but because I couldn't let go of my inner struggles. Later, I interned at Ant Group during the summer vacation, and then went through a long autumn job hunting process, which caused a lot of anxiety. After two months, I finally made a decision. Looking back now, my hesitation and choices at that time were mistakes, but I can't go back to the past. At least I'm not doing well now, and my emotions are unpredictable.

In that last winter, as I was about to leave the school and embark on the journey back home, I wrote this:

I used to want to graduate quickly and leave behind the monotonous daily life, but now at the end, I really want to hold onto this period of time. The life of a corporate worker is even more monotonous, boring, and lonely. Before entering university life, I also had fantasies about a campus drama-like life, but after experiencing it firsthand, I realized that I couldn't achieve it, nor could I experience it. Still single, still lonely, in the years after leaving, perhaps no one will remember that there was such a person.

At this moment, I want to go out and see the scenery I missed. Then I will put an end to it. The unfamiliar city may never be seen again.

When I came to Shanghai for an internship, the pandemic control measures proved to be true. In the very end, I didn't do anything, didn't say a proper goodbye, everything just ended.

I am still the person who is not good with words, not good at socializing, not good at controlling emotions. When I'm alone, I feel depressed, extremely pessimistic, and unable to see the light. I only know how to do things in my own stubborn way, without changing or learning how to survive. In the end, I still didn't live the way I wanted to.

And so, it ended in an ordinary and plain manner. I once wanted to embark on an adventurous journey, but I just didn't want to study. It turns out that I simply dislike those strange notifications, those rules that I have to follow, those assignments I don't want to do, and those exams I don't want to take. I hated all of these, even in the final days, they still troubled me while I was in Shanghai. But how many things worth cherishing did I fail to grasp? This final youth, there will be no chance to relive it.

As I watch their world these past few days, their final gathering and the sounds of laughter and joy, and their final moments of madness. And I have nothing, destined to be an irreparable regret. As I write this, tears fill my eyes again. Since the lockdown, I no longer know what happiness is. I live every day in despair and pain, with uncontrollable emotions. I don't know how long this kind of life will continue.

May there be no turning back in time, but there is no turning back in time.

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