An Absence of Belonging

Since last year, COVID-19 has caused schools to make new types of classes that require students to study with more sincerity. Some people say this is the future of college education. At the same time, however, it shows us the problems with virtual classes. For me, the absence of belonging has been the main problem. Below are the opinions and experiences of other students this semester.

Hyun-ku Kang, College of ICT Construction & Welfare Convergence
When I entered college, I wanted to make groups and study with new friends as other senior students have done. Whatever my expectations, I couldn’t make these things with online lecture curricula. I almost feel like I’m still a high school student studying in isolation. It is totally different from what I’d imagined. I only have two lectures in real time. I think we should have all live lectures to get the value of our tuition. Also, we can learn more effectively by looking at the professor as a group. It’s hard to feel we’re in the same class, taught by the same professors, and learning the same things in an equal environment. I really want complemented lectures such as face-to-face class biweekly like in high school or only real-time lectures according to our original class schedule.

Sung-joon Jeong, Department of Public Service
My college life is not that different from high school life. I thought I could make many social connections with other students and professors. Now, if I want to see people in person, I have to make plans on my own. Also, if I miss an important announcement from a recorded lecture, and that information is not posted anywhere else, it’s hard to know what I don’t know. Many professors only use their email as a way to contact them, but email is not a good method of real interaction. I had been looking forward to our university festival as well as new friends. I even joined a singing club in order to perform at the festival! However, there aren’t any events where I can perform. Even if it’s not a festival, I think we need a program like “반갑다 친구야”. This is a school introduction program for new students organized by each major where you can have an opportunity to meet your classmates or seniors and get to know each other.

Seong-chan Jeon, Department of Electronic Engineering
I’m from the class of 2016 and transferred to Kangnam university in 2018. I attended for a semester, went to the military then continued here. As a transfer student, there is no one I knew from before, and I don’t have a chance to contact others even in a KakaoTalk group chat. Furthermore, from the beginning of this semester, I was a little confused about how to get information because I don’t have even one friend. I feel like I will be graduating alone.

Anonymous

It is hard to say I’m a college student. We can’t use any facilities at our university even though we paid 100% of the tuition we would have paid if we didn’t have COVID-19. Also, because of the policy of the Ministry of Education, the number of assignments we are given is excessive. Because of the piles of homework and countless online lectures, we can’t be active and do other things. There is so much to do. It’s a really big source of stress, which is having a negative effect on our health.

I really want to be allowed to use the facilities on campus. There has been no discount on our tuition as the university is using our money to maintain these facilities. Then why can’t we use them? COVID-19 will not be over in the short term, so there should be a way to use on-campus facilities even if the number of people that can use them is restricted.

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