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New Part-time Job Taken by College Students

Chinese people's life has become more diversified. So are the jobs. "Chatting partner" is one of them. Some university students in southern China's Nanning City have advertised their services.
Not long ago, Meng Hua surfed the web and found that many young people are now working as "chatting partners" for others. This college boy from southern China's Nanning City wasted no time to call several of his peers to join him. And they are now advertising themselves to people who need companions to chat, go shopping or travel with.

With the payment of 30-50 yuan, or around US$4-6 per hour, Meng Hua can now make enough money for his study and life, and he feels quite good about it. But that's not the only thing that makes him satisfied.

"We act as listeners most of the time because people coming to us usually need an ear. And sometimes we try to help them with our ideas and advice. Through this part-time job, we witness how they go through frustrations, and we learn a lot more about the society."

However, none of them has ever mentioned this part-time job to their families for fear of being misunderstood, and many are still arguing whether they've chosen a proper way to do it.

"They are not mature yet to take good control of themselves, especially in some very sensitive occasions."

"I support their behavior. It's harder to find jobs for college students due to their lack of social experience. It's not wrong to earn a living while getting practical experiences."

"We can't expect all people to agree. They are free to do what they consider right."

"There should be some rules to stop this. Schools should act as a good model for their students."

These are some typical worries and thoughts in citizens' minds. And teacher Ms. Wei from Guangxi University, says the school's main concerns are the schooling of those students.

"The university doesn't encourage them to do so as it's still difficult for them to deal with all the possible troubles and control themselves. Meanwhile, as students, they should concentrate more on their professional studies and try to get part-time jobs more related to their majors."

Whatever the controversy, the job of chatting partners has already existed in Chinese people's life. The only question is how long it will stay and how many people will take it as a normal job.

(CRI May 12, 2004)

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