• Updated : 2019.6.24 월 18:23
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Keep Your Dreams AliveRadiate Youthfulness with Your Own Campus Life Style
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승인 2014.03.11  10:17:15
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▲ Students posing in front of pictures drawn in chalk on the black board. The pictures depict their campus lifes.

Most students enter university because they want to pursue their dreams and have many expectations for their campus life. When they are freshmen, the majority of them may think there are many opportunities for them to experience different cultures through diverse activities, to acquire a broad range of knowledge, to live a free and romantic life and to enjoy leisure time at the university. But, as time goes by, some of them would feel like they are going in a different direction, contrary to their expectations. They do what they need instead of what they want. More or less, they seem to be influenced by their school year. The Chonnam Tribune conducted a simple survey of 205 students at Chonnam National University (CNU) between February 6th to 10th to identify students’ thoughts about their university life and to suggest a more beneficial life style on campus.

What Is Your Lifestyle on Campus?
    How do CNU students live their lives on campus and what they do think about their own campus life? To know about their lifestyle, the Chonnam Tribune conducted some preliminary research on students’ main activities on campus and asked students a question: Which is the most similar type compared to your campus life?” According to the results of the survey, their lifestyle was categorized into five types: getting experience, pursuing scholarly activities, enjoying a youthful and romantic life, job preparation and self-supporting. The percentages of two types, ‘pursuing scholarly activity’ and ‘self-supporting’ are comparatively small: 11.7 percent and 8.8 percent. Therefore, this article took a closer look at campus lifestyles of CNU students focusing on the three types. 

▲ A student studying on the grass at CNU

    Firstly, 33.2 percent answered that they are doing a variety of activities such as voluntary service, club activities, and studying/internships abroad to ‘get experience’ during their school days. Lee Eun-jin (Senior, Faculty of Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) said, “I think getting experience is the most important part of my campus life. It is good to make the best use of school programs at CNU. The programs are harder to participate in after getting a job, and first of all, it is less expensive.” These types of students answered that they are trying to experience what they can as a university student. The reason is that those experiences make students broaden their horizons and understand what they want to pursue in their future life.
    Secondly, 24.9 percent of respondents answered that enjoying youthful and romantic life’ is the most similar with their campus life. It means that they want to enjoy being young and to radiate their youthfulness by, for example, having a romantic relationship or seeking pleasure by enjoying their leisure time on campus. Most students probably came to university with these kinks of free and romantic dreams. Many students answered they are living while hoping for an unexpected romance. But, some students regretted enjoying their campus life without worrying about their future. Park Yo-sub (Graduate, Dept. of Laws,) said he did not worry about his future and now it would be a long journey to get a job. “I did not know the harsh realities of life while I was in school. At that time I thought it was better for me to enjoy life while I could. I should really have studied harder for my future.” He added now he is regretful for what he has done and now he is studying hard to be a good lawyer.
    Thirdly, 21.5 percent of students answered they spend most of their time preparing for employment. In this type, senior’s ratio is the highest. Seo Seul-ki (Junior, Dept. Of physics) said, “It is the most important for me now. If I was a freshman or a sophomore, it would be different. But, as I get my promotion to the third year, I cannot help thinking about how employment is the most important thing for me.” In the same context, the ratio of students who seek to enjoy youthfulness is higher in sophomores and juniors than seniors, who are doing a lot of things to prepare for employment.

Student Life on Campus
    University students usually say that they are so busy and too tired because they are living in a competitive society with heavy duties beyond their limit. They have to get good grades in their major and also practical experience in order to get a job. It is getting much more difficult to get a job after graduation because many companies want students who have both knowledge and field experience that can apply directly to their workplace. To meet the requirements, students endeavor to do all kinds of things to have better specifications than others, for example, getting an official language score like TOEIC, getting a qualifying examination, or doing an internship. 
    Due to such a tight job market, many students may not have probably lived the way they want to live on campus. Nearly half of the respondents (44.9%) answered the most important part of campus life is ‘getting experience’ by getting involved in a variety of activities such as voluntary service, club activities, and studying/internships abroad. ‘Pursuing scholarly activity’ came next with 17.1% students, followed by ‘enjoying a youthful and romantic life’ with 16.6%, ‘job preparation’ with 15.6%’ and ‘self-supporting’ with 5.9%. It may be hard to classify their campus life into categories based on their main activities during their school days. However, as mentioned above, the survey result showed that CNU students appear to live the way that is not significantly different from their views on student life on campus.

Live Campus Life Better than Now
    Why are students living like that? Youth, It’s Painful written by Kim Ran-do (Professor, Dept. of Consumer Science, Seoul National University) is popular with university students. Many of them said that they felt empathy with the image of students in the book. Now, Professor Kim is regarded as one of the most sought-after mentors among Korean university students. He once said in an interview that young people should invest their money, time and effort into themselves.
    The main functions of universities should be education, research, and social service. But, actually our society requires many more things of our universities than ever before. They have become business companies which produce competent people for a job market, and also they have to give opportunities for students’ personal development. Because their functions are changing now, their students’ campus life is also changing. So, it looks like students’ real campus life is different from their ideal types. But, it is not a bad thing for students. Because universities are now providing many opportunities, students can make better campus lives and to satisfy their desires by using the opportunities available. Perhaps we need to change our perspective of students’ lifestyles on campus.
    But, if students cannot, they would be better off to make their own way. If so, they can make their campus life better. Real campus life is different from their ideal, but there are many ways to make their campus life better by themselves. There is a Korean saying, "Do not forget your initial goal." To live a better campus life, it is no use being anxious about success. Keep reminding yourself of your aim that you set after entering university. If you try to achieve your goals, your campus life is no longer being meaningless.

By Lim Seon-young, Student Editor

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