UPDATE : 2020.3.30 Mon 12:21
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Gather roses while you may

“I told June once that I had decided to die at one corner at that time. Well, death appears to be simple to people of my age. Perhaps we have lived only a few years. Goddamn, the scene of my life seems to change easily, like a game.”

This is from Hwang Seok-young’s novel, The Evening Star. I read it when I was 19 years old. I was using my willpower to endure during that hard time, and only this book assisted me.

It is natural for teenagers to be concerned about their future and current problems. In other words, they experience growing pains. However society and its systems do not let them go through the extremely natural process of their growth. I have always suffered in this situation. I do not want other teenagers to wander due to those systemic defects.

“I was not in a position to talk about earning a living or a job. I realized then for the first time that I have a long way to go yet to be an adult. It looks as if our mimicking adults’ behavior is useless. There are no tickets to enter the world of elders. I chuckled as I recalled the dowdyish and funny look of an immature chicken or dog.”

I really do not like socially accepted ideas which force us to put off teenagers’ serious worries about everything. Society just wants us to study the subjects in the school curriculum. I think that there is a proper time to do things. Nameless longings of youth should be addressed during the adolescent period. It is too late for us as adults to be allowed time to consider ourselves and the world we belong to. For that reason, we usually have troubles in being true to ourselves. We tend to be swayed by prevalent trends without our own thoughts. We have to build up our conceptions, such as a code of behavior or thinking for ourselves. Then we will not be so easily influenced in our decisions or conduct.

Do not avoid your time to think and act for yourself because of social pressure. It is not just defiance, but part of the process of growing.

Jo Young-in  youngwon13@naver.com

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