What Made Yonseians Smile in 2018?

기사승인 2018.12.02  19:29:27

EYES SQUINT into a rainbow shape as pink and red hues bloom on each side of the lovely cheeks. The corners of the lips begin to tug upwards into a cheeky grin. Each one of us has a distinctive smile, all equally endearing. After all, there are a million reasons to smile—even the most trivial things that happen in the walks of our lives can come to shower us with a new motive to smile. With the year 2018 now drawing to an end, a special kind of warmth is elicited in our bodies as we relive in our heads the happy memories of the year. So, The Yonsei Annals decided to take to the streets of Yonsei University to ask one important question. What made you smile?
Chung Yoo-joon (Soph., GLC, Dept. of International Commerce)
“I finished my mandatory military service on October 10. The two years were hard for me to endure, though looking back on those times now makes me smile. There was a superior above me who didn’t wash for one whole year. Every time he passed by, he would give off a stink that was hard to bear for anyone. Back then, it would only add to my suffering. Now, it’s just another one of those memories that makes me laugh.”
Moon Byung-Yeon (Jr., UIC, Creative Tech. Management)
“Did you know that there is a word called dae-2-byung* that refers to the depression that many Korean college students go through after their sophomore year? Well, what made me smile in 2018 was that I overcame that depression.”
Audrey Gregg (Sr., Dept. of Econ., New York University)
   “When I arrived to Seoul, I was really exhausted from the long flight, but I smiled when I ate two sam-gak-gim-bap** and became really full. Then I got into a cab with a driver who didn’t speak fluent English. I didn’t understand a lot of what he was trying to say, but the way that he was trying to give me the quickest tour before arriving at the dormitory was very sweet. I remember passing by Seoul Station and feeling somewhat overwhelmed but also excited.”

Ahn Ji-hyun (Jr., Dept. of Inst. Music)
“The doctors found a lump in my body, so I had to undergo surgery to get it removed. Due to this, I was going through a very hard time both physically and emotionally. While I was staying in the hospital after the surgery, my friends came to visit me and brought a children’s storybook called A Man with a Huge Lump on His Face. It was really funny and helped me overcome my depression. This is what made me smile."

Yoon Ye-chan (Soph., Dept. of Applied Statistics)
“My friends and I played a really funny prank on our friend for his birthday. We tricked him into thinking that we were going to take him out for a sports massage as his birthday present. Instead, we ended up waxing off his chest hair. He had a lot of hair.”

Charles Bow (Assistant Prof., UIC)
   “What made me really happy in 2018 was a combination of two different factors. First, I was on research sabbatical in the spring, so I had an opportunity to develop a book. Another thing that continuously makes me smile is when students come well prepared for in-class discussions; you could consider this to be a wink-wink to any future students.”
Lee Seong-bae (Fresh., College of Communication)
   “I met a lot of great friends here in Songdo. The memories we made and the time we spent together make me smile.”

Kim Sun-woo (Soph., UIC, Life Science & Biotech.)
   “A big reason for me to smile this year is that I had finally mustered up the courage to talk to a girl in one of my classes who I thought was very pretty. I eventually asked her out, and now we’re in a relationship.”

Baek Yu-na (Jr., UIC, Economics)
   “I went to San Diego as an exchange student last semester. The smallest things there made me smile. Walking on the beach on the way back from school, having sleepovers at my friends’ houses, playing with puppies at school, learning how to ride a skateboard… It was these everyday moments in San Diego that made me really happy.”

Yoo Hyun-joe (Soph., Dept. of Computer Science)
   “This year, I made a lot of meaningful relationships with new people. By joining various dong-a-ri***s, in one of which I played hockey and started working out, I met new friends who now mean a lot to me.”

Bang Tae-young (Jr., Dept. of Public Admin.)
   “This is my first year returning to school after finishing my military service, and I was worried that I may not be able to mingle easily with new people. With a friend’s recommendation, I joined the Glee Club, an all-male singing choir. Some people asked me why I would join an all-male dong-a-ri after my military service, but it gave me a once-in-a-lifetime experience of standing under the spotlight and performing in front of an audience. I imagined college life after military service to be gloomy. I guess Glee Club showed me that things could be different and made me smile a lot.”

Michael Hope (Assistant Prof., UIC)
   “There were a lot of things that made me smile this year. My daughter, as usual, never fails to make me smile. My rugby team also won the grand finals in Australia. In terms of school life, Yonsei University beating Korea University at the annual Yon-ko Games was also great. For me personally, it has been three and a half years since I first came to Yonsei University. This year was the first time that students that I taught before were starting to graduate, so hearing from them about their plans after graduation was quite rewarding.”

*                     *                     *
   2018, as with any other year, undoubtedly had its rough patches for everyone, maybe more for some than others. But even throughout the lows, there were days when we smiled and laughed so hard that it would wash away our worries—or at least make them more bearable. With 2019 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to look back and feel thankful for the people who bring light to our world.  Let us hope that the coming new year will be an even better year, full of opportunities, friends, love and laughter for us all.
*Dae-2-byung: A newly coined Korean word for the symptoms of depression that many college students feel after their sophomore year due to concern about their college life and plans after graduation
**Sam gak gim bab: A type of rolled *gim-bap* that is shaped triangularly
***Dong-a-ri: The Korean word for student clubs

Yoon Young-seo

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