They belong to a generation for whom prosperity and personal freedom are more the norm, rather the exception. China's opening to the outside world has made them better informed, extremely curious and adventurous.
Most of this year's graduating class belongs to the "jiu ling hou," or post-90s generation. Critics stereotype them as self-centered, naïve, spoiled and rebellious. They are also labeled as lazy, promiscuous and confused.
But others describe them as intelligent, innovative, curious and tech-savvy.
"These are misconceptions and sweeping over-generalizations," Zhao Ding, a 26-year-old white collar worker in Beijing. "We are different but we are maturing."
A survey conducted by the Horizon Research Group, a Beijing-based independent research firm, found that among 2,099 university and middle school students sampled from China's five largest cities, urban Chinese born in the 1990s have more disposable money and greater say in family spending.
The survey also showed this generation still retains a realistic attitude about consumption, despite being portrayed as the "spoiled generation."
"It's just a label," said Zhang Dayu, 20, who is graduating this month. "Older generations harbor stereotypes of our generation, saying we are extravagant, we are not socially responsible. Not true."
But Zhang concedes many of his contemporaries are self-centered. "We are more individualistic," he said. "We have a strong desire to express ourselves in unique and sometimes crazy ways."
This is why some students have posted various crazy -- even brazen -- photos on microblogs.
One shows a man running naked, supposedly celebrating his graduation on the campus of Fudan University, a top-rated school in Shanghai, while another shows a group of youths in their graduation gowns posing for a picture while the building behind them appears to be on fire.
"In most cases, it's just people wanting fame -- using the pretext of protest in some cases," said Eric Fish, a graduate student in journalism at Tsinghua University. "With the graduation photos, it just seems like what graduates would normally do in a lot of other countries."
Why is this significant?
"It perhaps says something about the freedom these young people feel now, especially when they're graduating and free from school authorities. I doubt some of the behavior in these pictures would have been tolerated 10 or 20 years ago," Fish said.
"This is just the result of young Chinese people starting to enjoy many of the same personal freedoms as their peers abroad: silly, naughty photos are a part of student life everywhere, and China is no different," explained Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei.org, a website and research firm that tracks the Chinese media and Internet.
Compared to their American counterparts, Zhao Ding thinks her contemporaries are still rather conservative. "The spirit is the same," said the 26-year-old literature graduate.
"Before you enter the adult world, where there are rules and conventions, you savor the last chance and last moment to indulge in teen spirit."
For some, the reminders of rules have come quickly. Many graduates have been pressured to delete their "crazy" pictures from their microblogs.