Time flies in college; set personal goals now

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Time flies in college; set personal goals now

A new semester will begin next week for most college students. They will be meeting new people in class and facing a new curriculum and a new group of professors to study with for the upcoming year. But I’m afraid that as soon as the semester starts, March will come to an end almost as fast as the light rain of spring dries up. Soon students will be sleeping hunched over piles of textbooks getting ready for mid-term exams. Then it will again be time for seniors to smile for their yearbook photos.
There will be, of course, plenty of occasions and reasons to go drinking.
Many students will go to “M.T.s,” campus jargon for overnight trips that usually involve all-night drinking with new friends.
Soon, the final exams will come, bringing a lot of anxiety to students who have not studied hard enough. Alas, another first semester will end.
Although I am a senior now, I have not yet fulfilled my military duty. I have seen four straight years and four first semesters fly by at my school. Every year, however, the same events happen at the same time of year.
A lot of students do the things they have always done. Some will be lucky enough to get opportunities to experience “different” things such as travelling, falling in love or landing a part-time job. But that is all.
Certainly lots of students want to have unique and wonderful experiences, but their range of experience is limited. Of course, no one has limited that range.
Certainly, we students have the right to freely choose and search for new experiences, provided we are responsible for our own actions. But the fact is we are not so free due to anxieties about getting employed, military duty and other everyday problems.
We often wish something new and different would happen to us. But isn’t it silly that we expect something different when the effort we give is not very different from what others might give?
I heard many a student habitually say someone must have been “very lucky” when he or she achieved an extraordinary result, instead of congratulating them. But that’s not luck. That student must have given an extra effort amid the daily going around in circles that makes up school life.
A case in point is a friend I know from school who earnestly worked for a goal of his own.
Although he was like any other Korean college student studying for exams, working part-time and drinking soju while also cramming for English tests, employment tests and all the other aptitude tests, he said his goal was to get 1,000 people on his acquaintance list before he graduated from college.
He graduated recently. He said he couldn’t make a perfect 1,000, but he got close. He said it was very hard. Reading 100 books a year could be an easier goal, he said.
I’m afraid it’s very easy to spend your four years in college without accomplishing anything even though you’ve been very busy trying to survive the hectic years. Why not make a special goal of your own now before the new semester starts?
Maybe I will start by getting to know just 100 more people this spring semester.

*The writer is the editor of Sejong Times, the English-language newspaper at Sejong University.

by Jung Yeon-joon
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