Kim Minwoo (’18, Public Administration) is one of the most talked-about people now at Korea University (KU). He is called as an insider, a term usually used to refer to a person who perfectly fits in with the social group he or she belongs to. Furthermore, Kim gained popularity online after releasing a video about his campus life. The video features his experience as a freshman in KU after going through the Korean Scholastic Aptitude Test (KSAT) five times. Such a dramatic story made the video go viral and also helped Kim to successfully manage his personal channel on YouTube.
At the last year of high school, every student goes through a hard time struggling to enter into the university they want. This was the same for Kim. After enduring five years, KU recognized his fine talent and he was able to make his way to KU. Far from the past when he had suffered from an age gap between him and his colleagues, he has now perfectly adapted to his campus life. As a creator, he uploads videos about how to write a cover letter, some socializing tips and other fascinating contents. From producing videos to managing grades, Kim is living a busier life than any other university student. For this March edition, The Granite Tower (GT) had a chance to interview Kim about his life in KU and his future plans as a YouTuber.
GT: What was your biggest driving force that enabled you to endure the long and lonely time of five years?
Kim: There are internal and external aspects. First of all, I am a thoroughgoing person. Once I start something, I have to finish it. Since there is no restriction on the number of KSATs one is allowed to take, I tried my best to get into the university I desired. Furthermore, the term of military service gave me some time to refresh myself. Serving in the Korean Augmentation Troops to the United States Army (KATUSA), I could arrange some time for studying. Thankfully, it was possible for me to memorize vocabularies in between times and listen to online lectures on the weekend.
GT: After entering the university you desired, what was the most memorable moment during your first year of campus life?
Kim: There are many memorable moments, such as Ipselenti—Jiya Hamsung, but the presentation I gave at Philosophical Understanding of Asian Art (PUAA) was most impressive. I have always thought that presentations given at universities are too rigid and formal.
Therefore, I wanted to break the mold and volunteered for a presentation at PUAA, one of the elective general studies courses. I added singing and dancing relevant to the topic as part of the presentation.
GT: This will be the same for other students but your love for KU seems to be on another level. What strength or source of pride do you think KU has?
Kim: The strong affection for KU derives from the thought that I entered KU by luck. Therefore, I feel somewhat obliged to make a return for such a result. After all, I believe the impact it possesses makes KU special. While Korean society becomes increasingly individualized, people from KU, on the contrary, gather around and help each other. The influence KU has on our society is considerable. Moreover, KU’s attitude toward disciplines is another strength it owns. Attempts to change courses from instructor-led to student centered ones show that KU is trying to bring progressive changes to established education systems.
GT: Was there a specific reason to begin working as an official creator of YouTube?
Kim: Education, media and music sectors came to my mind as I strove to search for what I truly want to work on. However, there are few, actually none, who have been engaging in all of the fields mentioned. In that point, it was difficult to seek helpful advice. Then I found YouTube and felt that such a platform could be a solution to this dilemma.
GT: You should have been very busy creating videos but, how did you manage to keep up your grades?
Kim: Actually, for me, I think life as a student and a creator is something that can and has to be managed at the same time. In fact, I reduced academic stress by avoiding major courses as I started my career as a creator last semester but, campus life also benefits my new career. Courses that I took often became my content and fine wordings used by professors can often become my source of content. Furthermore, in Korea, it is obligatory for an educator to complete his or her sophomore year in university to give a lecture. In that sense, as I dream of becoming an online lecturer, producing should be combined with studies.
GT: What contents are you planning to produce in the future?
Kim: Educating everything from A to Z is currently the most popular content of my YouTube channel. I give lectures about my experience before and after entering KU. Such contents will be continually uploaded to my YouTube channel. Meanwhile, I am planning to produce new contents for my main subscribers—high school students. They want to gain information about KU, so I would like to introduce some decent restaurants or hidden attractions in Anam. Moreover, interviews with KU undergraduates or alumni can be other good content.
GT: Lastly, would you mind sharing some advice for our incoming freshmen?
Kim: KU selects more than 85 percent of freshmen through rolling admission, which means almost every KU student will have written a letter of self-introduction. The paper is full of zest, but this hardly lingers until the time when students face the year of graduation. I want freshmen to continue their passion by reading their application forms even after succeeding the entrance examination. I hope KU can be a place where students can pursue their wildest dreams and ambitions.