GERMAN PHILOSOPHER Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds us closer together, and the music that brings us harmony.” As we grow older, families are what shape us and teach us the value of love. Along the way, we start to cherish our memories with them. Though we may also quarrel with our family, these memories too are precious when remembered later on. May, also called “the month of the family” in Korea, is the perfect time to explore Yonseians’ most heart-warming and cherished family moments.
Kang Min-kyung (Soph., UIC, Comparative Lit. & Culture)
Every New Year, my family always goes hiking together to burn off last year’s worries and start anew. Last year’s hike was before I was accepted to Yonsei University, so my family wasn’t in the best of moods. During the hike, we passed a Buddhist temple. We’ve been to this mountain a couple of times before yet we’ve never once come across this temple. Since my family is Buddhist, we decided to go inside to pray for my acceptance to Yonsei. A day later, Yonsei started reaching out to applicants with phone calls for additional admission. Luckily I received a call, and I was so happy to be accepted into the university that I dreamt of entering for more than three years. My family went hiking again this New Year, and as the memory resurfaced during the hike, it assured me that 2019 would turn out to be yet another great year.
Lee Jung-a (Soph., UIC, Economics)
When I was 7 years old, my parents and I went on a family ski trip. I took the hard-level slope and came down safely but found, to my horror, that my parents were nowhere to be seen. I started to panic and cry. A gentleman who happened to be next to me called my parents since I didn’t have a phone at the time. It turned out that they’d had an accident themselves while on the slopes, and my dad had fractured his foot. My mom tried to get to the bottom as quickly as possible by walking down since I was crying, and my dad was eventually brought down on a sled. I remember seeing him struggling to wave his hand at the tear-stained, snotty-nosed me despite the immense pain he must have been in. That distinct image of my father reassuring the terrified me gave a strong sense of relief as if I had seen Santa. What was amazing was that he drove the car all the way home with his foot still fractured. The whole experience still reminds me that my parents care for me, for which I am thankful.
Jeon Mi-jin (Jr., Dept. of Business Admin.)
One year at Christmas we had this simple party in our home.None of my family members had anything particular going on, so we decided to host a party just for ourselves. My mother worked on Christmas Day, so only my sister, father, and I went shopping and prepared for the party. We decorated the house with candles and Christmas decorations and played music throughout the night. We had a feast of steak, salad, and pasta. Since my family is usually so busy that we cannot even have dinner together most nights, we really took our time to talk. I think it's the most we spoke that year! Some might see this as a trivial moment, but this party the four of us shared is so memorable for me since it was a rare and precious opportunity for us to chat and spend time together.
Son Ji-hyun (Jr., UIC, Economics)
Ever since I can remember, my father has always been fond of camping. “There’re so many things in nature we can’t see in the city,” he’d say. I didn’t really share his interests, shying away from all the insects, the smell of toilets, and the dirt. My mother too would reluctantly agree to the camping trips only after my father repeatedly begged and bribed her. Yet our time at the creek together still brings back fond memories. There were both good and bad moments – dropping my beloved Tamagotchi* into the water, reading a book that my father bought for me using a headlamp, and biting into the watermelon we cooled in the creek. There’s one particular image that’s still burnt vividly in my mind. My father was looking out into the woods, one hand holding a burnt marshmallow over the flickering flames of the bonfire. He laughed as he pointed out the squirrel passing by while I looked on excitedly next to him. Those days have long passed, but father will still ask if we want to go back to that creek again. Though I’d shake my head and say I’m too busy, I am tempted to say yes once again whenever the memories come back.
Xue Sihua (Jr., College of Communication)
Seven years ago during the Thanksgiving holidays, my father suddenly suggested, “I’ve got four fishing poles in the trunk of my car, so let’s get down to the river stream and do some freshwater fishing!” Since I had no experience fishing whatsoever, I got really excited as soon as I heard him say it. As soon as we got to the stream bank, I was worried that just fishing and doing nothing else would get boring quickly. So I proposed a bet in which we split into teams of two, and the side that fishes less would prepare a stew with the fishes we caught. That was how the competition began, with my father and sister on one side and my mother and me on the other. Catching the fish in freshwater wasn’t as hard as we thought, so it was an easy and fun day for all of us. I remember my parents hilariously kept slipping on the rocks in the water. Unfortunately, thanks to my sister’s hidden fishing talents, my memory ends with my team losing and the whole family returning home to enjoy the fish stew my mother and I made.
Oh Eun-chong (3rd Sem., The Graduate School of International Studies)
I come from a family of six, and after we’d all grown up and left the house, there weren’t many opportunities for us to get together. So when we stumbled upon an event on Facebook that offered to take and print family photos for just \30,000, we thought this would be a great idea for us to all get together to create something memorable, especially since we hadn’t had a photo taken in over 15 years. Since the printed picture had come out so nicely, we decided to purchase the original image file of the photo to keep it. However, what we hadn’t realized was that with the Facebook deal you only get an A4-sized frame picture worth \30,000 and would have to pay a substantial amount of money for the actual image file. It ended up costing my family \500,000 in total. My whole family was shocked and livid. But looking back, it felt so satisfying and heart-warming to see my parents dress up and have the family all together. Eventually, taking a family picture every year became a tradition for our household, and it’s always so heartwarming to see how the family has changed over the years whenever we compile the ones we took so far.
*Tamagotchi: A handheld digital device that houses an electronic pet