Reporter Column
Reporter Column
  • Reporter Kwon Na-eun
  • 승인 2015.06.03 11:48
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Don’t Boggle, Just Mingle
When I was in the 8th grade, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to America with him. I could not answer right away because it was a difficult decision for me. I knew I would have to start all over again in America: new school, new friends, new language, new culture, etc. I was young and I knew nothing about the country so I was afraid that I would fail to adjust. Also, at that time, I was preparing to enter a science high school and if I were to leave, I would miss the opportunity for higher education. However, I thought it would be a unique experience to face new challenges and I knew it was a rare chance to go abroad for such a long time with my family. So I decided to leave. This experience changed me in three ways.
First, it helped me to have an open mind and to accept new things. In the first few months, I made numerous mistakes since I knew nothing about the culture. For example, when I first went to a restaurant, I did not know I had to pay tips for the waiter who served me. Also, when chatting with my friends online, I did not know what words like LOL or ASAP meant. At first, I was so ashamed to ask people questions because I did not want to appear stupid. Nevertheless, I soon realized that if I do not to ask them, I would never know even the basics of American culture. So I started to ask people whenever I was having difficulty with unfamiliar situations, and to my surprise, they helped me very kindly. Then, I became aware that it is not ignorance that is shameful but the cowardice to accept new things.
Second, I became much more active. I was originally very timid and passive in Korea. Nevertheless, I started to join activities like Key Club and Leo Club (both community service clubs), and Art Club. I also joined the school orchestra and ran track and field. I tried my best as I participated in those activities because I liked the activities themselves and the people around me. I found that I liked meeting new people, talking and laughing with friends, cooperating with others to do community service, playing music, exercising and so on.
Third, thanks to my parents, we traveled a lot during those two years. I have been to places like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, New York and more. While traveling, I could broaden my view of the world and realized that I did not have my own way of life planned yet. Furthermore, I started to search for my future university and career. I loved life sciences from my youth because I thought it is marvelous to find logical mechanism in natural phenomenon. Therefore, I decided to become a scientist or an engineer, majoring in life sciences.
In sum, plenty of challenges and experience in America changed my life. If you have any chance to go abroad for a long period, I recommend you to grab the chance.