It’s raining, it’s pouring, the freshmen are…not snoring?

“A little rain never hurt anyone” should be the unofficial motto of these first-year university students in China who recently participated in mandatory military training exercises. The folks over at Shanghaiist shared the following photos of students braving the elements as they marched in sync under brightly colored umbrellas. Need a little motivation to get going the next time it rains? Just be thankful you’re not one of them!

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA; 中国人民解放军) is the official title of the military of the People’s Republic of China. It consists of four main service branches and deploys the world’s largest ground force.

Save yourself the trouble of opening a new tab and read Wikipedia‘s description about the military obligations for Chinese university students below:

“Technically, military service with the PLA is obligatory for all Chinese citizens. However, in practice it is entirely voluntary; because of China’s large population and of the large number of individuals who volunteer to join the regular armed forces, the authorities seldom enforce a draft. All 18-year-old males have to register themselves with the government authorities, in a way similar to the Selective Service System of the United States. The main exception to this system applies to potential university students (male and female), who must undergo military training (usually for the duration of one to four weeks) before or one year after the commencement of their courses.

Compulsory military training for university students? How…responsible of them. Where I come from, this is what you’ll normally catch the freshmen doing:

▼Missing a few bulky backpacks, but otherwise pretty accurate.


But I digress–back to the Chinese students. Approximately six million first-year students take part in the training exercises each year. The following are a few snapshots from the recent drills at Northwest University of Politics and Law in Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province:

▼Northwest University of Politics and Law on a sunny day…


▼…and on a rainy day. By the way, those umbrellas are all military-issue.



▼Maybe they were too busy trying to get a glimpse of military cutie Joyin to even notice the rain?


On the other hand, students from Zhengzhou’s (the capital city of Henan Province) Henan University of Finance and Economics opted to complete their training inside of the school cafeteria on a recent rainy day:

▼Henan University


▼Henan University’s cafeteria


▼Hopefully their movements are precise enough so that this woman doesn’t end up with her lunch on her rather than in her…


Kudos to all the hardworking Chinese university students out there! Rain or shine, you set a diligent example for the rest of us.

Source: Shanghaiist
Images: China News, Sina, Flickr (Real Schiran)Henan University (English), Elite Daily