Student Success Story

Accept the reality and endeavor

Jooyoung SEO

The 3rd “Student Success Story” lecture was held by the Student Success Center. The “Student Success Story” is a session for SKKU students to share their success story. The 3rd lecture was given by alumni Jooyoung SEO who is currently in enrolled in the doctorate program at Penn State University. Jooyoung SEO said, “I felt pressured to give a lecture but I decided to share my experience after thinking that it might help someone.”

Choosing success between depression and anxiety

In the beginning of the lecture, SEO defined success as “setting a goal and achieving it”. He also described that success is a “DATE” with life. “We experience many failures and successes in life. Let me tell you my thought on being successful. Life is divided to things that are given and that we choose. Two responses that we can make toward these are positive and negative emotions. Being negative towards the things that are given is ‘Depression’. Negative response towards our choice is ‘Anxiety’. On the other hand, responding positively towards things given is ‘Thanks’ and toward our choice is ‘Expectation’. In sum, our life is composed of “DATE”.

“People who respond positively to anything are optimists and the reverse are pessimists. However, living a life as an optimist or pessimist is too ideal and tiring. If we call being situated in the middle of depression and thanks as ‘accepting’ and call the situation of being in between anxiety and expectation ‘endeavor’, it would be best to become a ‘realist’ who can accommodate and endeavor”. SEO claimed that he himself is a realist and thinks that it is best to accept the reality and work hard in all situations.

“A wise realist would accommodate and make use of the given time and endeavor to achieve the goal. We feel anxious because there are things outside of our control. We can relieve this anxiety by working hard to extend our extent of control.” SEO introduced the “pomodoro technique” as a method to get rid of anxiety. You first question yourself 5 times about why you feel anxious and write down the cause in detail. After, you set the timer for 25 minutes to focus and take a 5-minute break. Once you repeat these steps, you can see yourself endeavoring to control the things that you desire.

Graduate program in America

SEO explained that he went to America to study in the graduate program because he wanted to try out for things that he wanted to do. “I wanted to test out all the possibilities. I chose to study pedagogy in university but I still had some lingering attachment to computer sciences. So, I chose to study pedagogical engineering in graduate school.”

SEO looked for a scholarship opportunity and was selected as a study abroad student sponsored by the government. It was a result that he wouldn’t have achieved if he remained anxious and depressed. He was able to study coding and meet well-known people through this experience. It was only possible because he accepted the reality and put in realistic efforts. “I wouldn’t have applied for the government sponsored study abroad program if I was just anxious and depressed about the reality. I believe I was chosen because I tried my best after accepting it.”

To those who are preparing to study abroad

Jooyoung SEO wanted to give these advices to the students who dream of studying abroad.

First, check yourself. Why you want to go abroad, what kind of graduate school you are expecting, what you want to study, and more. You need to check these things and break the illusion.

Second, prepare the basic requirements to go abroad, such as language qualification, cover letter and resume.

Third, look for scholarships. There are different types of grants from various foundations.

Fourth, become familiar with software programs necessary for school such as reference management and statistics.

Lastly, prepare to survive overseas by continuing to study English, join communities, and study methodologies.