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Friday,December 13,2019
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Overcoming Fear to Take the Leap

  Globalization, which is the inevitable trend of the 21st century, makes me recognize myself as a citizen of the world. I dream of a world in which everybody takes care of each other beyond cultural and language barriers. I dream of a future where people seek a better world for me, you and us. I believe the world that I am dreaming of will come true and I want to devote myself to making this dream come true. I had an unforgettable experience which made me want to study English.

  I experienced frustration that came from a case in which I could not express my emotions to a non-Korean. I still vividly recall that time. I was around seven years old, and I was drowning while playing with my brother in a public swimming pool. I found myself falling into a bottomless pit of water and was overwhelmed by its force. The only thing I could think of was death, and I was terrified. Suddenly, I was hoisted up by someone with blonde hair, and she was trying to comfort me in a language that I did not understand. After she confirmed I was not harmed, she left me. I could not say anything to her. I wished I could have, but I was afraid of speaking a different language from her. This experience has reflected itself in my life as a thirst for learning English ever since then.

 During my middle school years, I got actively involved in a variety of English-related clubs and contests. I found myself doing well in speech contests which were based on memorization of a speech I had prepared in advance. However, I performed poorly in a free speech contest that consisted of an improvised address on a given topic. I realized I had a limited ability in my English. I had difficulties in speaking and expressing my thoughts. I was confused by the fact that I could not reach certain levels of fluency in speaking English even though I had placed a great effort into studying it. Further, I was appalled by the thought that English education in South Korea could fail in helping me attain fluency in English. Hence, I decided to study in the United States to experience and learn English at a native-like level, not as a second language.

  Because of this, I studied in the United States from 10th grade. I struggled to close the language gap and, now, I feel that I am very comfortable with, and confident in, expressing myself in English. However, although I feel I know the language well, I recognize that I sometimes cannot understand certain expressions without understanding the cultural contexts. This experience stimulates me to think about how I can deliver a culture-embedded language to the world.

  Overcoming language and cultural barriers in the United States was not an easy task for an 18-year-old Korean girl but such hardships only strengthened my resolution to become a world journalist. I will be a world messenger to transcend cultural and language barriers, delivering people’s lives and emotions, and a message of peace all over the globe. Thus, I hope that becoming the editor-in-chief at The Dongguk Post will be my first journey as a journalist.

Na Soo-hyun  sunny93511@dongguk.edu

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