"I"m one of the lucky ones who has been treated to lunch by my high school seniors. I have many friends who do not have any seniors who they can ask about college life, let alone be treated to a single meal," adds Jung.
Some Ewhaians disagree. Hwang Jun-kyung (Christian Studies, 2) says "I like Ewha"s atmosphere. It"s more liberal and gives you independence. I no longer fear being alone. People have to learn to live by themselves when necessary and I"m learning how to do it."
Freshmen"s complaints continue until they get involved in a club, which takes about at least a month to choose and finally become acknowledged as a member. Lim Sun-kyung (Chinese Lang. & Lit., 2) heartily agrees with Jung. "Last year, I was very lonely on campus. There was neither a place on campus to feel at home nor a senior to talk to about it. I had to get through all the stuff by myself, or with friends who were in the same situation. Compared to other universities, Ewha"s welcome has a "leave-her-alone" aspect to it.
Other universities, including Hanyang, Korea, Sungkyunkwan, Yonsei, and Seoul National, organize groups within each department so that freshmen may associate with their colleagues and seniors in the same department. Jin Young-un(Korea U., 2) says, "I was able to adjust to college life with my friends and seniors. It"s rare for a freshman to buy his or her own lunch or have a meal alone because people in the same class always share their time together."
However, there are also complaints about the frequent participation required by such classes. Jung Seul-gi(Seoul National U., 2) says, "Even though it was nice to get to know many people from the first, I had a hard time adjusting to their drinking culture."
Still, many Ewhaians can only envy such opportunities, despite the attached burden. Kim Bo-ram (Political Science & Diplomacy, 2) says, "I want to get to know many juniors and help them out. But, since it"s hard to figure out who are the freshmen students are, I wish there were some helpful ways or events that let all the students meet and communicate."
In fact, there were attempts of organizing groups like those at other universities. Last year, the student council of the College of Liberal Arts formed groups for freshman, but it turned out to be a failue due to lack of participation from both senior and freshmen students. Whang adds, "Last year, senior of the student council insisted us to submit our wanna-be-majors in order to organize groups with seniors in each major. But I heard that the plan had failed because freshmen poured into popular majors only, such as Chinese Language & Literature. I guess that"s why there aren"t any plans for freshmen groups this year."