BEIJING Foreign Studies University's much-hyped "perfume girl" finally went back to school last week after a week of online speculation.
No matter what she blogged as an outcast student, criticizing the lack of job opportunities or career choices at a place where most students just bury their nose in books, "perfume girl" did manage to give people a whiff of campus outcasts' fragrance.
There are other examples. Take Yang Yang, for instance.
This Zhejiang University of Technology English major got himself involved in the stock market his freshmen year, after which, his major became a sort of minor.
The 22-year-old Yang thinks he did the right thing as a means of preparing himself for society.
"In trying to understand the whole of society, you never truly understand it until you step off into it." So, that's what he did.
In addition to the stocks, he expanded into translation and online sales and made good enough money for a student he bought a car for more than 200,000 yuan.
In the eyes of his peers, Yang's status was long ago upgraded from mere outcast to outstanding person.
Shang Qiang, 21, who is Yang's next door neighbor, admires the accomplishments of the fellow next door and even sees him as a role model.
"While most of us were still trying to figure out what we wanted to do, he'd already chosen his own way and went for it," Shang commented.
"Also, it's really cool that we can get a free ride from time to time in his car."
But, outcasts are often not exactly like Yang and some of them pay a price in doing what they want -- or thought they wanted.
Wang Xuejun, a Hubei University of Technology computer major, is considered a bit weird by his classmates.
He hardly ever goes to class or to group activities.
But then, he has his own business to take care of.
"What we learn in school is totally out of date, useless, and a waste of time," said Wang, 23.
He tried his hand at setting up his own logistic company, but failed to get the school’s permission to do business on campus.
So, he found work with a company selling daily-use products, but again got a warning from the school -- this time for illegal sales.
Now that he's about to leave college, he's in a predicament: he can't get his degree because of the many failed courses.
One of Wang's classmates, Yuan Liang, thinks that people who want to go their own way on the path to success have to face the risk of failure.
"Not everyone can be Bill Gates," Yuan said. "Only those with a unique personality and ability can do that."
So, what about these stories of success or failure?
For many students, they seem to serve no other purpose than just provide a few words of inspiration or warning.
"Personally I wouldn't do that even though I think it's cool to be an outcast," said Fang Wenhong, an Anhui University English major.
"Everyone can have their own way to success, as long as they adjust to their surroundings."
For the teachers, there seem to have always been outcasts around on campus, but over time, you can see some differences.
"The era of guaranteeing a good job with just a degree is gone. Students are forced to develop practical skills to meet employers'needs,"said Liu Lie, in charge of Beijing Union University' student affairs.
"As long as the so-called outcasts can keep up in their academic work in a decent way, we actually accept their decision to do whatever they think might be good for the future."