To Escape from Being a Frog in a Well
To Escape from Being a Frog in a Well
  • Reporter Kim Su-min
  • 승인 2019.09.05 19:21
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▲Reporter Kim Su-min
▲Reporter Kim Su-min


When I was a high school student, I had a plan for my life that I would enter a university in Seoul, enjoy a Seoul life for four years, come back to Busan, my hometown, and spend the rest of my life there. I assumed I would have hated Seoul since there are too many people and they are all busy. Though, I knew what Seoul life meant. There would be more than I had experienced for 19 years: many cultural events, different people with different backgrounds, various opportunities, and so on.

But, fortunately and unfortunately, I entered POSTECH, which means I have to spend at least four years in Pohang, not a big city. As I started my Pohang life, I realized that the weakest point of POSTECH is it gathers FEW students in Pohang. It is a good environment to be a frog in a well. About 320 students in the same grade, of course, came from various regions, but they have similar backgrounds. Moreover, there are few chances to communicate with people outside of POSTECH or students from other universities. This is, I think, why POSTECH provides well-organized outbound programs such as SES, international exchange students, summer sessions, overseas exploring programs, domestic credits exchange, and various others. What I want to say is DO NOT MISS these opportunities. The more you go out, the more you will experience, think, and feel. You do not have to learn something. Just feeling something is positive. 

In my case, I once was a person who sought stability and avoided adventures. Although I wanted to go to Europe as an exchange student, I sometimes hesitated to apply because I was worried about having to spend a semester in a foreign country without my family and friends. But my first SES experience last year in Seoul completely changed my mind. I just left my hometown and home university and spent three months in Seoul, the largest city in Korea, and it was a whole new world. I did not do anything special. I went to work, studied at an English language institute, and sometimes spent time downtown. It seemed to be similar to my daily life in POSTECH. The only difference was the PEOPLE. I did not communicate with a lot of people actually. I just saw various people and how they lived their lives. Talking with my six co-workers in their 30s or 40s, watching people studying with their group study members, and observing people walking in downtown were all meaningful. At that time I decided to apply as an exchange student. I thought there would be an even newer world. My second SES strengthened this idea. I met and communicated with people from other universities for the first time. It was more meaningful as about half of them were majoring in industrial (management) engineering, which is my major. Hanging out with them was not only entertaining, but also a chance to deeply consider about my future. 

Again, what I really want to say is please keep in touch with people outside of POSTECH and do not miss the opportunities that POSTECH provides. I have told you about my positive experiences meeting people, but there are other ways to develop. Reading newspapers steadily can be another way. One of the reasons I decided to become a student reporter is that I wanted to keep myself interested in social issues. Thanks to that decision, I could accumulate experiences: my first overseas trip, interviewing several experts, designing the format of The Postech Times, and others. This is my last reporter column. Thank you for reading my articles, and let’s meet outside of the well next time!

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