[CAMPUS COMMENTARY]Enjoy university lifestyle while you canIn a recent survey by Job Korea, a recruiting Web site, one in three university students polled was preparing for examinations to become a public service official. Aside from this poll, a lot of other surveys and newspaper articles also show that university students aspire most to become employed at stable workplaces such as government offices, schools or public companies.
According to a survey conducted by the career center at Chonnam University, 33.5 percent of university students said they wanted to work at a “big company,” 31.3 percent said they wanted to become “public officials” and 24.6 percent said they wanted work at “public companies.” The number who said they would like to work for small and mid-sized companies was a mere 2.4 percent. To achieve their goals, students spend their whole college lives studying to compete in examinations and interviews for jobs.
Adults have often told us that once we enter college, we have the free time to hang out everyday and do whatever we want with our time.
However, as soon as we get there, we realize this is not true. To have the job one wants, one immediately starts to compete, building the foundation for a future career.
Few students leave university with just the credits they need to graduate. Most find something additional to bulk up their resumes.
Students keep up to date on job-related information such as competitions, marketing programs, volunteer programs and internships. Not only this, but students must master English or another foreign language, usually by doing extra study in private institutes. They try to obtain various qualifications between their school terms.
They also strive to get higher grades, but some do so by avoiding challenging courses and enrolling under professors known to give easy A’s.
Since many students prefer classes that guarantee good grades, it is difficult to see whether students have any passion for learning. Rather than learning to advance and develop ourselves, we tend to pursue study for results that will be useful on our resumes.
University life is the only time in our lives when we can study what we want in-depth and develop ourselves. However, these days it seems that university life is seen as only preparing us for future careers.
It is sad to know that I am in the same boat as other students. As I started my third year in college, I realized that I have only a short time left until I go into the competitive world where I have to sink or swim by myself.
It is sad too that I do not have any more vacations to enjoy without any pressure or burden on my mind, since I have to prepare for my future career, just like my peers.
It is true that everyone has to offer something better than others to survive in this competitive world. It is never wrong that university students spend most of their college lives working for their future, but university life is short and will never again happen.
Therefore, I think it is necessary sometimes that we consider what university means and enjoy what it offers ― things that we can do only as students, even as we prepare for our future.
* The writer is a former editor of Chung-Ang Herald, the English campus news magazine of Chung-Ang University.
by Kim So-young