To a child, becoming an adult often equals reaching perfection. Sheltered behind their parents, children are safe and happy, constantly looking forward to becoming a grown up until the first misunderstanding. Growing up is not attaining perfection. Rather, perfection lies in acknowledging that your parents, and by extension, adults, are not perfect; no matter how tall or big a person might be, one cannot avoid moments of feeling small. In April, The Granite Tower (GT) asked four Korea University (KU) students about the moments when they felt an inch tall. Life truly shines when one takes the time to face these moments.
Ko Kyung-ryeol (’15, Media and Communications)
Recently, I visited Okinawa and tried an exotic dish called “Taco rice.” It is a popular example of Okinawan cuisine that combines taco with rice. Instead of using a tortilla to roll up vegetables and sauce, taco rice put those ingredients on rice. Although I am one of those active travelers who can say that I’ve traveled quite a lot, I am always surprised to see countless delicacies still after all those experiences. In front of the vast world of gourmandise, I feel so small. For this summer, I am preparing for another trip to fill my food list. As long as delicious foods exist, my challenge will never stop.
Hong Ji-soo (’16, Business Administration)
In my opinion, powerlessness often makes a person feel small. It becomes worse when my ability is not enough to help those whom I love. For example, when my boyfriend, who is serving in the military, gets exhausted after a tough round of training, or when my father looks worn out from endless duties and work, all I can do is just tell them to cheer up. In these moments when I cannot fundamentally solve their difficulties or problems, I am disappointed with myself and wish that I were bigger than who I am now. I sincerely wish my heartfelt words could, however insignificant, energize them.
Jung Jae-jin (’17, Public Administration)
People often realize how small they are in front of the magnificence of nature, or grand notions like immense size or infinity. However, we can easily amaze ourselves with the little capacities we can show in everyday work. For example, I have been serving as student president of my class since 2017. Although I have taken on the role with genuine affection for my department and classmates, I sometimes feel immensely burdened when handling various issues. As I agonize over how harmony can be achieved among people of different interests, I reflect on my lack of leadership to embrace them all. Despite the difficulties, however, I also came to realize that one can break out of one’s smallness and reach towards infinity when helped by companions. Whenever I face difficulties, my dear friends are always there to back me up.
Lee So-hee (’18, Interdisciplinary Studies)
Being a fan means that you have to bear the pain of being one of many. I have been an enthusiastic fan of the Korean idol group, Highlight, since their debut and tried to go to all of their concerts. However, when I actually stand among the large crowd looking up to the celebrities on stage, I come to realize that I am just one of many people who loves a superstar. Superstars seem so close when I see them on television programs and social networks, but in reality, Highlight does not even know my name. Although I am one of many other fans, I just hope that Highlight recognizes that my love for them is not so small, but the biggest among many!