WHAT KIND of college experience are you looking for? One stuck in the same old routine, or one filled with new adventures and memorable experiences you’ll never forget? These are the questions that the club, Qualifications of a University Student or DJG*, tries to answer. DJG members share their bucket lists and plan unique events to enjoy together under the motto, “if you’re not having fun, you’re not a college student.” For students looking to make the most out of their college experience, The Yonsei Annals conducted interviews with DJG’s President Cha Ha-min (Sr., Dept. of Clothing & Textiles) and Co-Vice Presidents Kim Eo-jin (Sr., Dept of Psychology) and Lee Sang-hoon (Jr., Dept. of Materials Science & Engin.) to learn more about the club that dedicates itself to helping those students.
Annals: Could you give a brief introduction to your club DJG?
Cha: In particular, many Korean students don’t have the freedom to do a lot of the activities they want to because they’re focused on college admissions. So most students who enter college have a list of things that they want to try. DJG was created so that these students can share their bucket lists and plan these activities together. Our club was named after the TV program Qualifications of Men**, where male celebrities were taken on missions to become “real men.” We don’t focus on any specific type of activity; our goal is to plan a variety of events that can be difficult to do alone. This year, we are looking for our 19th recruitment and we usually have around 30-40 members who are passionate about trying as many things as possible.
Annals: What is the difference between DJG and other clubs?
Cha: The best part of DJG is that everyone who joins has so many ideas about what they want to do. Most other clubs have specialties or specific areas of interest, which also means that there is a limit on the type of activities you would want to participate in. For example, I was in Sis-boom-bah, the Yonsei Sports Magazine, where I only learned about sports and engage in sports-related projects. In contrast, our club allows you to engage in a variety of experiences that you may not have ever imagined doing before.
Annals: What kind of activities does DJG plan, and how are they chosen?
Cha: Since we are a social club, we begin each semester with an ice breaking session where we get to know one another. Usually we play mini games from shin suh yu gi*** around campus or in Sinchon. Our main goal every semester is to plan and complete one large project, which all members plan together and participate in. Last semester, our main project was hosting a cooking competition between our club members who prepared handmade pizza, pasta, braised spicy chicken, and bo-ssam****. In addition to the main project, we plan various smaller projects that members can freely participate in, which are based on proposals by those at our weekly meetings.
Annals: What is the most memorable project you have participated in?
Cha: I think the most memorable project for me was the ski trip we recently went on. Although I’ve always wanted to try skiing, I’ve never gone before because I was embarrassed to be this old and not know how to ski. So, I always opted out when my friends invited me to go skiing before. This time, I finally had the chance to try it when everyone in our club who hasn’t been skiing before went and learned together.
Kim: Last semester, I planned an event for Halloween and this has been my favorite project so far. I usually dress up in Halloween costumes and put on makeup, but I’ve never had anyone to go out and celebrate Halloween with. This time, we all wore costumes, did each other’s makeup, and went to Itaewon on Halloween. We took so many photos that I felt like a celebrity. I really enjoyed doing this project, because these are the kind of things you can’t do alone.
Lee: I liked the MT***** the most. I’ve always had this negative impression of MTs because drinking is usually the focus of these kinds of trips. For the first time I was able to enjoy being in an MT because we mainly played games while keeping drinking optional. Since all members in our club are trying to enjoy their college experiences as much as possible, we didn’t need any alcohol to have fun.
Annals: Why did you join this club?
Cha: I came from an all-boys high school, so most of my friends are male. When we wanted to have fun, we did the same things again and again; we either went to PC rooms, played pool, or drank alcohol. There were so many things that I wanted to do, but I realized that if I wanted to experience new things, I had to make the effort to meet new people with different interests. DJG gave me the perfect opportunity to do this.
Lee: I personally enjoy watching movies, reading books, and visiting exhibits alone because I need time to organize my thoughts before discussing with other people. When I watch movies with other people, I get irritated when they whisper to me in the middle of the movie. But I joined DJG because I wanted to meet diverse people and gain insight about different perspectives on various topics. One of the projects I plan on proposing next semester is a gathering where we all watch a movie or read a book individually prior to the meeting and discuss our opinions on it.
Annals: What do you look for in a candidate for the club?
Cha: Since our club is relatively small, it’s inevitable that some students will not be able to join. What we look for the most in a potential candidate is how much this person will contribute to our club: will they frequently come to our events, will they actively plan projects and propose ideas, and will they be able to have fun with us. Regardless of what is on a student’s bucket list, we want to see if that student is passionate about doing it and is open to trying new things.
Annals: What does the slogan of DJG “if you’re not having fun, you’re not a proper college student” mean to you?
Cha: In high school, we’re so stressed about college admissions that we rarely get to do things that we’ve always wanted to do. Similarly, after we graduate university, we are limited in what we can and can’t do because of work. I think college is a short period of time where we are allowed the leisure to experience everything we have always wanted to try. To me, the slogan means that we are at a special point in our lives where we can enjoy ourselves freely.
Kim: When I think of college, I think of it as a place to meet new people. I believe one of the best ways to enjoy college is to meet different people which is what our slogan inspires me to do. In this club, different types of people introduced me to things I’ve never tried before and activities that I would never include in my definition of fun.
Lee: DJG and its slogan emphasizes that college is an opportunity. It motivates me to try as many new things as possible and reminds me that if I miss this chance, I might not get another one.
Annals: Any last words for our readers?
Cha: Although being a college student is difficult, we hope that you won’t place the burden wholly on yourself and remember to also enjoy your university experience. DJG is a club that can share this burden with you and will open a doorway to a variety of experiences.
Lee: Although many of the projects we have planned such as skiing or Halloween events may seem typical of any club, our club offers many unique experiences. Previously, we have thrown house warming parties and even created our own muk-bang where we went to McDonalds to film how many burgers we can eat. There’s no limit on what we do, so whatever you want to try, we’re open to any ideas!
*DJG: Acronym for the Korean name of the club “대학생의자격”
**Qualifications of Men: Korean TV show named 남자의 자격
***shin suh yu gi: South Korean travel reality show called New Journey to The West
****bo-ssam: Korean pork dish
*****MT: Membership training, an event held among university students in Korea to socialize with peers