[Reflection over KAIST Tragedy] Postechians are adept at handling stress and pressure
[Reflection over KAIST Tragedy] Postechians are adept at handling stress and pressure
  • Reporter Jung Han-kyu
  • 승인 2011.05.04 12:09
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Recently, there were four losses of students at KAIST. It was heartbreaking news not only because POSTECH and KAIST are similar in character, but also all of them committed suicide, possibly despondent about academic reasons. The fact that the brightest of Korea have thrown their lives away because of what they were good at made the public concerned. People began to speculate about possible causes in hope of preventing the same thing from reoccurring.

One very probable cause brought up is that the students lost motivation to continue studying after they have achieved their goal by entering one of the best universities. It may sound insignificant, but it could dramatically affect them in various ways. What about Postechians? How are they coping with this issue?

To find out, The Postech Times conducted a survey of 2nd year students, and 92 out of 305 responded. The first question asked was about what the university meant to them in high school. Most of them saw the university as a place for “extended studies,” and “freedom and excitement,” which reflects how the time devoted to studying during high school years was agonizing.

▲ Response to "Was entering top university your goal in high school?

Though a higher number was expected, only 53% of the students responded that their ultimate aspiration during high school years was to enter top universities such as POSTECH. Moreover, half of that number replied that they felt despondency for having achieved their goal, and the other half did not feel the letdown at all.

The figure we need to focus our attention on, however, is how they handled the crisis. Out of 23 that felt despondent, only 7 took no action, while the other 19 overcame the situation either by setting a new objective or spending time with friends.

This outcome is rather positive; an astonishing number of 92.4% of the students either did not feel helpless after losing their motivation or have coped with the issue without much problem, whereas only 7.6% lost the driving force and did not do much about it. Seemingly, Postechians are doing superbly in managing their stress and pressure despite the concern. The numbers really do not decide anything because this is not the definite cause of the tragic losses of KAIST, but it gives encouragement for others.

As a supplement, the survey asked for a few words of advice for the freshmen. Most of them narrowed it down to three things. First is to study hard when it is time to study, and play hard when it is time to play. Second was to manage time well and ponder about the future. The last advice was to experience new things as much as possible. Keeping up the GPA is important, indeed, but it is not everything. There are things that can be experienced only in college. The best advice, however, would be to cope with stress well and be positive about everything so that such tragedies would never occur again.