CHILDREN’S DAY, Parents’ day, Teacher’s day, Buddha’s birthday and so on. Surprisingly all these holidays are on the very same, particular month of May. Especially as it has two family related holidays, May is often referred to as Family Month in Korea. As a result, there are many benefits regarding the Family Month, such as family discount services which provide opportunities for everyone to spend more time with their families. However, university students are often thought to have independent lives from their families. Then what about our fellow Yonseians? To see the current relationships between the students and their families as well as what family means to them, The Yonsei Annals asked Yonseians about their family life.
Total 482: Male 222 (46.1%) Female 260 (53.9%)
1. Are you currently living with your family?
Before entering university, most students would live together with their families. However, with the admission to university, a great number of students start to live alone on their own. In fact, 57.9% of Yonseians from the survey reported that they are currently not living with their families.
2. If not, why are you living away from your family?
The reasons why students live separately from their families varied. 24.3% of the students, which is the greatest portion, answered that it was because the rest of their families lived abroad or in another province of Korea. The second biggest reason was to shorten the time spent on commuting. Only 2.1% of the students chose independence in order to live alone. In other words, as long as the circumstances permit, Yonseians tend to live with their families.
3. What do you usually do with your family?
Almost half of the Yonseians said that they have a meal together when they meet their families. Considering the fact that restaurants full of family-unit customers can be spotted easily, this is the widespread phenomenon not only among Yonsei University students but Koreans in general.
4. Who do you think are the closest people to you?
During adolescence, most people deem friends as the closest people. However as people age, they tend to regard their family members as the closest people. According to the survey, the two choices that are related to family members (parents and siblings) totaled to 69.9%.
5. Rate how important you think family is. (Choose between 1~7)
Overall, most respondents seemed to think that family is important. To be specific, students who chose the highest rate was 56.7%, which proves that more than half of the students regard families as being very important.
6. Rate how intimate you are with your family. (Choose between 1~7)
In contrast to question 5, those who rated the highest rate on how intimate they are with their families were relatively small as it reached 26.3%. Though Yonseians in general think that they are intimate with their family, there were fewer who were actually very intimate with their families.
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Family matters. Hence with no exception, family matters to Yonseians, too. Every single Yonseian would agree on this quote by George Bernard Shaw: “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” As a result, the survey shows that the majority of Yonseians think family is very important to them and that they are the closest people to them. However, in reality they are not as intimate with their families as they want to be and spend shorter time than expected. As the Family Month is coming, why not put effort into seizing this chance to get closer to your family?