It tells the ups and downs of a group of young people in Beijing during the 1970s, reflecting the changing times through the struggles of the "little people" and depicting the next generation amidst a wave of reform and opening up.
Xiao Chun Sheng along with his two buddies Ye Guo Hua and Chen Hong Jun who are children of military families and government workers grew up in the courtyard. They experience what it's like to join the army, to take the gaokao, to go out to sea and to start a business, supporting each other along the way. Tong Xiao Mei is a Beijing girl pursuing her dream of being a doctor. This is an inspirational story of the growth and transformation of ordinary people during the reform era in China.