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366. Is Together Better than Alone?

Jang, Su-jeong 기자2017.05.10 13:12:58

Enjoying being alone has become one of the new trends among university students in Korea. This implies that it is natural to grab a bite, take a course, and drink alcohol by oneself. This solo trend has produced newly-coined words: hon-bap, dok-gang, and hon-sul respectively. Such a trend partly challenges the conventional wisdom that human beings are social animals who cannot live without making social relationships. I would like to throw a question in this topic: does this solo trend indicate that we do not have to put any effort into socializing?

 

One of the differences between high school and university students is ‘the size of interpersonal relationships.’ The network of human relationships can become wider and more complicated after getting into university. These days, however, more and more students spend their time doing part time jobs, preparing for exams, or improving their résumé in order to survive in this time of economic stagnation. Thus, the prejudice on the word ‘outsider’ has changed from having difficulties in socializing to having enough time for self-development. Being alone does not always mean being bored or lonely.

Being alone has become one of the strategies students use to focus on themselves or make themselves better. Nowadays, many students voluntarily choose to be outsiders. They enjoy doing their work, taking up hobbies, and getting some rest by themselves. They can manage their time effectively and achieve their goals by avoiding socializing. This can also help people to be relaxed when they are under stress, rather than being surrounded by people.

On the other hand, closing yourself off is not always a good idea. Avoiding making friends is the same as giving up a lot of possible opportunities. “Nobody being able to hurt you” also means that “nobody can give you comfort”. You can also find who you are, since you build your character by learning how to respond to what happens in your life. It is meaningful to realize how to behave like yourself, what kind of person you go well with, and how to resolve a conflict with others, which cannot be learned on your own.

 

Ironically, we sometimes feel lonely while surrounded by people. It does not matter how many friends you have, but how healthy your relationship is. We should learn the appropriate social distance between people by trial and error. At the same time, we need to spend time alone to take care of ourselves and get to know ourselves. I think the balance between being alone and being together is important, and the perfect balance is totally up to you. Lastly, the most important factor you should consider is your happiness; never lose your self-respect whenever you are alone or surrounded by people.

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