Today is the last day of October. I can’t believe it’s already November tomorrow. After the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, so much of what I had enjoyed before disappeared. It was a hard and unmanageable year. If I were to talk about the special experience this year, I would like to talk about my internal experiences rather than external experiences. I’m going to talk about my special “Corona blues” coping period. I have a very bright personality, and I especially like meeting new people. Everybody has their scents and colors, and I like to experience the diversity. Meeting new people is a driving force and joy of my life. But this year my happiness has been shut down. In January, my family went on a trip to Hawaii. These days I have a grim idea that this might be the last overseas trip of my youth. After returning from Hawaii, COVID-19 began to emerge as a serious social problem. Wearing masks has become an implicit social norm, and the opening of school has been postponed continually. Until then, I thought after 2 weeks, or maybe a month, I would be able to enjoy my school life. But rather than going to school, I couldn’t do my part-time job or extracurricular activities, and everything became untact. I had a really hard time internally this time. Not just me, but many people had a hard time. Would the “Corona blues” have appeared otherwise? Living almost every day at home has ruined my life pattern, and I realized the meaning of “A sound mind in a sound body.”
People talking about when COVID-19 would end began to talk about life with COVID-19. Some say that from now on, COVID-19 will coexist with our lives. My mother told me, “You have to be prepared for life after COVID-19.” “After COVID-19” meant a world with COVID-19. I started to think I should wake myself up from the sense of helplessness. I couldn’t wait for the world to change anymore. The way I took to overcome this slump was to get busy and get used to contacting people with untact methods.
The first thing I did was search bulletin boards to find activities that I could apply for. What caught my eyes was the student ambassador activity organized by the NH Bank. Luckily, I passed the document examination and interview. Inevitably, almost all activities were carried out online. It was still pleasant to communicate with the members even over the screen. Secondly, I wanted to make new friends in school, so I applied for the Sungkyunkwan Economic Debating Association (SEDA). In SEDA, all activities were conducted online. Nevertheless, we could discuss passionately, and it was attractive to communicate with students majoring in economics like me. However, I wasn’t able to get along with my colleagues often. Therefore, I suggested preparing a contest together. My genuine intention was to meet them often. Eventually, we participated in the contest organized by the Financial Supervisory Service. Video conferenced allowed us to meet more often. The results haven’t been announced yet, but it helped me become intimate with them. One of my favorite things at school was talking with professors about class topics. Of course, after the pandemic outbreak, I couldn’t do those things. So I decided to contact the professor of the most impressive class I took last year. This allowed me to participate in the Research Credit System conducted by the school with him. He became my professor in charge. I had a Zoom meeting with him once a week, talked about research, and sometimes even got career counseling.
Nobody knows when the COVID-19 will end. Maybe there’ll be no end. COVID-19 must be remembered as a tough time, but if there’s one thing I appreciate about it, I’ve learned to stand up on my own. There were many hard moments, but I tried to get over the hardship I faced with my own will and effort. It was more hopeless and difficult than ever, but in fact, it was an opportunity to find myself braver and stronger. Now I have a belief in myself that I can overcome any hardship. Nevertheless, I hope COVID-19 will be finished soon. Adios 2020!
Kim Won-young (Economics) 2020 Essay Contest 2nd place