Over the course of time, people find multiple turning points in which their life takes a turn for the better or worse. When asked to graph their lives, people often do not know where to start. However, the task becomes much easier when asked to do so based on the biggest turning points that stood out to each individual. Whether it is a significant high or a significant low, the most memorable point remains in the picture when it comes to graphing out a lifetime. The Granite Tower (GT) interviewed four Korea University (KU) students who gratefully plotted out their lives on a graph based on the events that made an influential impact and explained why those were the most unforgettable.
Park Minseok (‘15, Political Science and International Relations)
My first turning point t h a t determined the general direction of my life was a short time abroad in Canada to study. I remember my mother suddenly asking me if I wanted to go to Canada—it was a time where becoming global leaders was a trend among Koreans so I decided to give it a go. My first rough turning point was when I came back to Korea and did not make it into an international middle school. Back then, I was at the adolescent age when my emotions were all over the place making the disappointment a lot more than it probably should have been. Things started to seem bright again, however, when I attended high school and engaged in Model United Nations (MUN) activities. Starting MUN definitely kickstarted the peak of my life; the majority of my friends I have now are from back then. Then, I think I got lucky and I hit the happiest moment of my life when I got accepted into KU. Currently, however, I have been struggling with getting into law school so I would say things are not looking so great right now— sometimes I think it is because the past six to seven years have been quite like a dream to me.
Hong Ji Su (’17, Economics)
To be honest, I feel that I have lived a rather plain life, devoid of any big, exciting events. However, I do have a turning point in my life that taught me a few lessons and changed me into the person I am today. When I was in second grade, I went overseas to study. I did not know any English at the time so, naturally, it was really difficult to adapt to the new environment. I was out of my comfort zone and was scared for my future. People always told me that it would all get better after a year, but those were words that I did not believe in until a year flew by and I became more confident in myself. There were two big lessons that I got from this experience. First, I realized that nothing is ever easy for the first time—this may sound like an obvious fact but it was what got me through all the hardships in my life that I thought was never going to end. My second lesson was that there was no need for me to think about the inevitable future and fear it. They say fear demands to be felt so I think there is no need to beat myself up by fearing the future. It is very interesting how a turning point that seems like a passing event can change someone’s whole life philosophy.
Kim Dong Hyun (’18, Industrial Management Engineering)
I moved to China when I was young and I attended an international school for the majority of my life. It definitely was a turning point in my life, one that I am quite nonchalant about. This turning point did, however, give me the opportunity to learn three languages and find new hobbies like soccer or playing computer games which proved to be other positive turning points in my life. As I went up to high school, I felt that I had no dream and simply wanted to make a lot of money which was another turning point in the sense that it motivated me to study hard. Just like that, high school flew by and graduation left me with a rather empty feeling—I was separated with my parents and friends in the new chapter of my life. However, a new beginning was in wait for me as I enrolled in KU. I made new friends and met new people with a similar background as myself. I also foresee that fulfilling my military service and graduating university would be another turning in my life.
Kim NaYoon (’19, Business and Management)
My life, so far, can be illustrated with several turning points. My life was at its peak when I started painting. On a scale from zero to 10, I dare say that it was a 10 at the time. However, life is never easy. When I attended school, my life started to plummet drastically. School caught up to me and I was forced out of my hobby. Getting used to my life without art was a lot harder than I thought it would be—I went through a period of time where I felt lost. When I started high school, my life took an unexpected turn. I developed an interest in academics, especially in Environmental Science. However, after I began my Advanced Placement (AP) studies, I lost all existing interest whatsoever. It was the darkest period of my life but it all paid off when I got accepted into university. I got into a school I thought I wanted but then, I made a spontaneous decision of dropping out university and re-enrolling later on because I figured switching my major would be more beneficial in the long run. Since then, my life has been rather peaceful. There were no ups and downs. Looking back, I realize that all the turning points in my life were related to my academics since that was my only concern when I was a student. Sometimes, I wonder what my life would be like had I not been so hung up on my studies.