Love thy neighbour
Love thy neighbour
  • Reporter Kim Eun-ji
  • 승인 2010.09.22 01:37
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

People. From roommates who know every detail of our lifestyle, friends who we share day-to-day worries, thoughts and dreams, classmates who we sometimes ardently compete against, colleagues whom we unknowingly walk past in campus and to professors whom we admire. This is a list of people that we, Postechians, may come across in our small campus. Although the descriptions about them can differ slightly, we all have several of these individuals in our social realm.

I often hear from my high school friends now attending universities in Seoul that relationships formed after entering universities are only temporary and superficial. When they were young it was almost impossible to be distant to classmates whom they faced daily, from day to night. Now they confess that the pattern of people barely coping to mingle in a bustling university with tens of thousands of disparate individuals, who tend to disperse and create their own space as soon as they step outside the school is enough to make one have doubts about the formation of true relationships at school. However what is it like with Postechians? In this regard, we have an advantage.

We are the selected few. There are around 1,300 undergraduates, 1,700 graduates and 250 faculty members at POSTECH and the figures have not fluctuated too much over the years. If these do not sound small, compare the sheer number of population with the over 25,000 enrolled students at SNU and 8,000 students at KAIST, for instance. Moreover, like it or not, most of us reside, commute, study and spend our idle time in our 378-acre campus, where the usual densely populated locations are obvious.

Even in this ideal environment, where making acquaintances appears easy and knowing the whole year group in person sounds feasible, building a healthy relationship is hard. We focus very hard on our academic and research achievements and have little time (or make little effort) to make connections. Also, we complain that in our school there are not many interesting and diverse people, those who do not major in science and engineering and thus seem as though they live in a completely different world.

Life is tough and we would readily dive in and fight for that extra 0.1 point for our G.P.A against our colleagues. But as we have heard many times before, “It’s all about the people you know,” and success does not come by one’s own effort even for maverick geniuses. Steve Jobs did not create the iPod and iPhone alone, nor did Edison invent gadgets in isolation. Hence making efforts to broaden confined connections is paramount especially when importance of joint research and team projects are highlighted.

If this does not sound very convincing, let’s put it in this way: POSTECH has aspirations of clenching a top 20 position in the world’s research-oriented universities ranking by 2020. It is the members who have a high potential that drive the university forward. After a few decades, most of us will be placed in top-notch positions in our society-some will become famous scientists and professors, others may be the next CEO of Korea’s most successful enterprise or a Nobel laureate or the minister of Education, Science and Technology or leaders of research institutions. Whatever careers they pursue, it is for certain that making acquaintances then will be much harder than when they are done now. So why not make the most of this moment and give it a go-we do not need reputation or wealth to socialise and make buddies.