When students first enter university, they are soon surrounded by numerous people from various backgrounds. Though they are delighted to meet different people at first, as the time goes by, students begin to feel lonesome for their own reasons. Four students of Korea University (KU) disclosed their loneliest moments on campus.
It was my first exam period after being discharged from the army. Since I was full of will, I reduced my sleep and spent most of the time studying in the library. On the last week of the exam period, I felt dizzy and began to shiver. I continued studying, taking it as nothing, but soon I ran a fever and almost fell. I lived alone, apart from my family, and my friends were not able to take care of me because they all had to prepare for their exams. At that moment, I felt extreme loneliness, and found myself alone in the world.
Yoo Minhyun (’10, Physics)
I began to feel loneliness at the end of my Science and International Relations) sophomore year and the beginning of my junior year. At the end of my second year, all my male friends were in the military, and my female friends took time off to prepare for specialized tests such as Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test (PEET), or went abroad as exchange students. I became the only one among my friends participating in school events, and I learned how to eat alone. Though I was aware of the fact that it is natural for students to march towards their own path, it took me some time for adjustments, since the new situation was so different from being a freshman when we used to do everything together.
Go Eunchae (’12, Food and Nutrition)
As a freshman from the provinces, the loneliest moment for me in university was when I felt like I did not belong anywhere in the beginning of the semester. People in my major had already become close to each other through gatherings before the semester, and it was difficult for me to get together with them. In addition, I was not able to find kindred spirits until April, though I participated in many school activities and events. Now, I found good friends whom I can have the deepest conversations with. When I come to think back about it, I think loneliness is not necessarily bad, it gives you time for self-examination and introspection.
Park Seong Jin (’16, Political Science and International Relations)
Being alone in a foreign country, loneliness has been my biggest concern ever. I enjoy socializing with my fellow classmates, but I have some lonely times, too. As an extrovert, I felt extremely lonely when I was alone in my major classes without knowing anyone. Cultural differences and language barriers hinder my ability to get accustomed to the mainstream society. I wish I could get closer with the local students and have more chances to learn more of each other’s culture as well.