WE EASILY overlook the significance of the Children’s Day as we gradually stray away from our adolescent past. However, the Children’s Day is meaningful in that it is a national holiday dedicated to welfare and rights of the children. It was first established to increase awareness on the basic rights of children, who were often neglected as unimportant members of society. In celebration of this special day, The Yonsei Annals asked several students about their most special memories during their childhood years.
Shin Ji-won (Soph., Dept. of Dentistry)
I started volunteering at a young age, influenced by my mother who considers love and sympathy as key components of a successful life. When I was in elementary school, I volunteered at the Center for Disabled Children, packaging soaps made by disabled children. Through this experience, I realized even the smallest effort could have a huge impact on people in need. Since then, I continued to volunteer at various centers including Ae-lan-won, a center that supports the self-reliance of single mothers. I still enjoy volunteering to this day.
Lee You-been (Fresh., UIC, Techno-art Div.)
The most memorable experience of my childhood was an overnight trip to the mountains called the Week Without Walls, when I traveled to Uzbekistan. It was my last opportunity to bond with my middle school friends in Uzbekistan because I was going to move to a new country after the trip. It was sad to think that I would not be able to see my friends for a long time. However, I decided to think positively and enjoy my trip to the fullest, since it was one of the rare trips offered by the school. Although I was injured during hiking, it was a great experience because in the end, I had a lot of fun memories travelling with my friends.
Moon Jong-min (Sr., Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engin.)
I can still vividly remember the days when my friends and I spent time together, playing in the playground in our neighborhood. I think I was around eight back then. After every taekwondo practice, we played soccer. Later, we played with our toy guns. We used to always argue over who was shot in order to decide the winner. In fact, becoming the ultimate winner was a great achievement for us. Reflecting back to those days, it is funny to think how much pride we took in becoming the master of shooting and how our games were such a big deal for us.
Ko Ae-lee (Soph., Dept. of Clothing & Textiles)
The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the word “childhood” was the bunk bed that my sister and I shared until middle school. When we were young, we always wanted our private spaces. We covered up our bed with several bed sheets and came up with our special pass code for our “bed fortress”. Our bunk bed was not just a place for sleeping. It was a place where my sister and I shared great memories, full of fun and happiness. Now, whenever I see a bunk bed, I cannot help but smile, as it reminds me of our fond past.
An Da-young (Fresh., Dept. of Political Science and Int. Studies)
One of my greatest childhood memories was when I played hide-and-seek with my friends in the playground near our homes. Back in the days when we did not have much work to do, we went to the playground almost every day. Nowadays, it has become impossible to have the same moments of my childhood, not only because that very playground is gone now, but also because I feel like I am too old to play there. Most of the times, children and their parents are the ones to occupy the playground, so I feel out of place when I go there.
Park Gun (Jr., Dept. of Materials Science & Engin.)
This was back in second grade when I still believed in Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, I hung up my sock on the wall before I went to sleep. It was a small one that I wore on a daily basis. Looking back, I wonder how I believed anything would fit in that tiny sock. Anyways, I went to sleep, excited for the next day. I expected Santa to visit overnight and stuff in a gift, just like they did in classic Christmas movies. The next morning, I woke up early in the morning to find the toy that I had wanted so badly for Christmas on my bed and let out a joyful scream. I thought I saw my mother come out at night, but back then, I never thought about the possibility of my mother being the true Santa.
Eom Se-hyun (Jr., Dept. of Public Admin.)
Looking at the workers climbing up a tower crane at a construction site from the living room, my mother once said, “I am not trying to belittle or disparage them. Nor do I know everything about their lives. But choosing one job out of a variety of options and choosing a job as the only option available are two contrasting paths. I want you to be able to choose from as many options as possible in the future.” I am thankful of my parents, who have always financially supported me at the cost of cutting down their own spending. My mother’s words still resonate deep inside me today, especially because I knew she was very supportive of my education and career. Due to my parents’ support, I was always able to choose from a wide variety of options.