How Has Postechians’ Winter Recess Changed With COVID-19?
How Has Postechians’ Winter Recess Changed With COVID-19?
  • Reporter Han Sang-yun, Lee Seung-joo
  • 승인 2021.02.27 23:45
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▲The percentage of responses to “Did your plans for the winter recess change due to COVID-19?”
▲The percentage of responses to “Did your plans for the winter recess change due to COVID-19?”



For Postechians, recesses are opportunities to free themselves from studying and take time for new experiences. Some learn social relationships during internships, some study more deeply by conducting research in laboratories, and some sing and dance with their club members. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such activities were difficult to hold face-to-face, and so many had to be canceled or downscaled. To find out how students’ winter recess has changed, The Postech Times surveyed Postechians’ 2020 Winter Recess activities from Jan. 20 to Jan. 27, 2021. A total of 69 answers were collected. 
Three questions were inquired regarding the plans and activities conducted during the 2020 Winter Recess: “Did your plans for the winter recess change due to COVID-19?”, “If the pandemic didn’t happen, what activities would you do this winter?”, and “What are the activities you are actually doing this recess?”. A survey on their satisfaction level was also conducted: 5 points if very satisfied, 4 points if satisfied, 3 points if moderate, 2 points if unsatisfied, and 1 point for very unsatisfied. 
According to the survey, 75.36% of students replied that their plans for the 2020 Winter Recess were altered. Extreme changes in student’s plans are evidently shown by the figure above. Prior to the pandemic, the top two most popular activities planned were long-term trips (38.46%) and club/student activities (21.15%). However, long-term trips were completely canceled since zero replies were collected as activities done after the pandemic. Furthermore, less than half of those who planned to spend their recess on club/student activities got to stick to their plans (9.62%). 
Instead, activities that were capable to be done within the social distancing standards were adopted by many students as a backup plan. The percentage of students involved in undergraduate research programs rose from 7.69% to 32.69%. Such results are likely due to the school’s decision to permit those who lived in dorms during the 2020 fall semester to participate in the research programs face-to-face under  restrictions to not leave Pohang during the winter recess. Those living outside Pohang were also able to move into dorms to participate if they submitted negative COVID-19 test results. Moreover, the percentage of students involved in winter session courses also rose from 5.77% to 15.38%. The winter session courses were held non-face-to-face at POSTECH and at most universities in exchange student agreements with POSTECH, such as Yonsei University, KAIST, and Ewha Womans University. 
Conclusively, undergraduate research programs (32.69%) and winter session courses (15.38%) became the most popular activities conducted during the 2020 Winter Recess. The average satisfaction rate of students who modified their winter plans resulted in 3.42 out of 5.
The other 24.64% of students whose plans remained unchanged participated mostly in undergraduate research programs (41.18%) and internships (17.65%). The average satisfaction level was 4.06.
The level of satisfaction also varied by activity. Those who participated in undergraduate research programs averaged the satisfaction level to 3.88, which is 0.3 higher than the total average satisfaction level of 3.58. Students who participated in internship programs also showed a high satisfaction level of 3.86 despite the fact that most internships were held partially online. 
On the other hand, the satisfaction level of club/student activity was overall 3.33, which is lower than average. In the case of club/student activity, the prohibition of gatherings of five or more people limited the range of possible activities. An anonymous member of Cheero, the cheerleading club, said, “During the first two weeks of practice, we had to split into groups of less than five members. Therefore, it was hard to check the directions of our movements, and we had trouble coordinating the movements of all members.”Also, those who were forced to use their winter break to rest showed the lowest satisfaction level of 2.88, which is 0.7 lower than average.