▲ Kweon Yun Jin ('11, English Language and Literature)
The 83rd Editor-in-Chief, The Granite Tower
It was late February when I received notice from the International Office that I would be able to study in London from this upcoming autumn as an exchange student. At that time, I was editing a cover-story article of the March Issue with two of my reporters, but I could not help suddenly screaming out, intoxicated with excitement. As a matter of fact, the thought of leading a totally different life in a faraway city has fully sustained me in enduring all the burdens I have had to bear as head of The Granite Tower (GT).
Basically, a journey to an exotic place has the power to make a person’s heart flutter. In particular, as the vacation nears, we are able to meet many friends who look more lively than usual, thinking about a “great escape” from their hectic daily lives through trips overseas. Yet, Koreans are not the only people who love to travel outside of their countries. These days, 10 million foreigners a year pay a visit to Korea, discovering its hidden beauty. Greatly helped by the skyrocketing popularity of Korean pop culture, the country has absolutely become one of the hottest tourist attractions in East Asia.
Accordingly, the Korean tourism industry definitely seems to have enjoyed a boom, but it is fair to say that there is still a long way to go to remedy several problems, such as insufficient infrastructure. That is why GT decided to deal with this topic in the cover story of the June Issue. On top of this article, we endeavored to provide diverse content regarding tourism, such as fair travel, the beautiful scenery of the ocean, a trip to Chuncheon, and voluntourism. Furthermore, since the year 2013 is the 60th anniversary of the ROK (Republic of Korea)-U.S. Mutual Defense Agreement, we tried to cope with a variety of topical issues concerning war in Korean society—for example: Lai Dai Han and the debate over re-transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON).
Looking back at my one semester, I was proud of myself as the editor-in-chief of GT, one of the most time-honored campus English media in Korea, with a 59-year tradition. Of course I was constantly discovering my own limitations and had to discipline myself, but indeed I learned a lot, and give all the thanks to those who helped me including my reporters and readers. At the end of my term, it feels like I have almost finished one big journey, but I know it is not a real ending. We, during our lifetime, are always on a track to the future.