Girl invites life advice from strangers to celebrate her 20th birthday



Twenty is a big birthday for most Chinese girls because it is a time when they are going off to college, taking their first steps into the world without family. How to celebrate? Yang Bingqian had a unique answer.

Yang, a freshman at Sichuan International Studies University in southwest China, left two notebooks unattended in a garden on the campus on May 24. Beside them was a board with the message, “Hi strangers! It’s my 20th birthday today. Would you like to help celebrate by leaving some advice for me? I’ll give you a cup cake to say thanks.”

About 14 hours later, she came back to find about 300 heart-warming messages had been left for her. Yang’s story has since been widely shared in Chinese social media.

Yang Bingqian left these notebooks unattended in her university campus in a call for life advice. /Beijing Youth Daily Photo

"For their birthdays, most of my classmates had a party, ate a big meal, sang some songs, but I think that is too ordinary. Twenty is a very special birthday for me, so I wanted a special way to commemorate it,” Yang told Beijing Youth Daily.

Most of the more than 300 comments are simple blessings. “Dreams can be broken, but I still wish you the best,” wrote one person. Others penned long stories.

“Dreams can be broken, but I still wish you the best,” one person wrote in the notebooks. /Beijing Youth Daily Photo

"Everyone has their own perspective on life. These few notebooks make me feel so warm inside,” said Yang.