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영어에세이 부문(최우수작 “I’m down“)
유연진 ㅣ 기사 승인 2023-12-05 15  |  683호 ㅣ 조회수 : 107
“I’m down” Seoul National University of Science and Technology Department of Environmental Engineering Yeonjin Yu

I sometimes sit next to the lake in our university for a while. All I do is just feel the sunlight and blowing wind and look at the vibrant students passing by. Then I come up with some astonishing feeling that “How can I get more than this? Isn’t it a true happiness in my life?”. ‘Present’. People easily forget the greatness of this. ‘Now’ is the only time in our lives but why do we just let it go away that easily? It is impossible to pause and rewind the timeline. However, we can do our best to ‘live present’ and spend the time in a meaningful way. Especially our ‘youth’. After we become mature, we get this short time called ‘youth’. It is a priceless time that we can only get once in our lives. In that period, we have not only present but also ‘youngness’.



My parents often told me “When you have enough time, you might not have enough money to relish your life. By the way, when you finally got wealthy enough, then your youth has already gone away. That’s why you should cherish your youth all the time.”. These words got into my mind deeply long time before I fully grew up. And it made me think more about the precious property I still have, called ‘youth’. I tried to enjoy the time I got and use it preciously as I think about it.



I’m a 23-year-old student. And I’m in the middle of ‘youth’. I’m kind of old among university students, so sometimes I'm caught up with the thoughts about ‘why am I still a student?’. Many friends around my age already got a proper job and some of them doing a master's. And I often think about what if I already got a bachelor's. However, I know that I have this beautiful present and need to regard this as thankful. Then I could not be more proud of myself all the time because I’ve struggled with challenges, and I eventually overcame and learned a lot from there. People learn from each of their own experiences. That means I’ve also become wise from those experiences. I’ve never thought about myself that I’m wasting my ‘youth’. These learning processes were full of priceless lessons that neither my parents nor my school could not teach.



My youth started with studying crazily. I was so obsessed with entering the university that I studied almost 13 hours per day for a whole year in 2019. I finally entered the university even though I was not satisfied with the result because my mental health got worse. Then I tried to earn meaning in my youth instead of studying for another year to enter the university I preferred more. Not regretting my result, on the other hand, I jumped into new things such as exercise, getting a license, joining the student clubs, and going to some competitions. Literally, I was down for everything, and still, I’m down if there is any chance for me. I tried those things and I was 100% enthusiastic about trying them and that made me happy all the time.



But sometimes I was too focused on the goal and then forgot about ‘enjoying’ itself. As a result, I had an eating disorder and depression. I endeavored to get a perfect body, and even though I already had, I was not satisfied at all. So, I tortured myself so hard like the time I studied in 2019. And I realized it was not right nonetheless I wanted to try this. Getting to the goal is also important, however, why we should spend our youth with that horrible feeling? From then I made a move that just do as much as I could and thought about the process more than the consequences. What if, I just stayed still and not tried to move on? I might still be captured with following success, not a procedure. We are available to try almost everything in this world. Of course, doing our best is the perfect option, in contrast, don’t lose yourself in the process. Anyway, I kept trying to get over the feeling regarding making ‘perfection’, and now here I am. Now I’m ready to take pleasure in my ‘youth’ and I’m doing so.



What do you think about ‘youth’? Have you ever thought about this topic seriously? Most people take something they already have for granted. “We have an incredible amount of time. Maybe we can do sort of those later in the future.” Some people let time pass by making excuses. But it is not. Time is an absolute matter. Every person gets old and eventually goes back to nature. Youth is such a temporary time in our whole life. Our body seems to be healthy eternally, and our skin looks glowing all the time. We feel like we have tremendous time to do everything. However, everything we have has a limit. We cannot stop the time or extend our youth. That’s why people who have ‘youth’ have to think more about the time they are using now.



Then how can we use our youth meaningful? There’s not going to be an exact answer to this question. One would like to travel. The other one chooses to study to achieve one’s goal rather than spending time creating new memories. The answer depends on the person who is in charge of their time. Think about what you like. What makes you happy? When do you feel joy? As I said, there is no answer for this question. You must ‘investigate’ your mind and think about what you truly want to do in your lifetime.



For me, the way finding out the answer was ‘try everything’. I had few chances to try something new and explore things when I was in childhood. Thus, I got lost for a while when I finally got time to search for the answer. And at that time, without answer, I tried everything whenever I got a chance with open mind. I’m still in the process of completing my answer. Therefore I’m still willing to try all the things. Also, I always keep seeking opportunities to get a piece of the puzzle for my answer. We already know that it is going to be harder and harder to try new ones and much more difficult to come through failure getting old. So, why don’t we just give it a try to everything right now? Remove your hesitation. All you need is just a question mark. “Why not?” This is a start. Why don't we say “I’m down.” without thinking about the results? Let’s try everything and get to know our world. It is our youth. We have a whole control to spice it up. It’s all up to you.



Let's say that there is a question.



“Are you down for trying something new?”



Then, what is your answer?


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