Well, either one will do, and both are important. A healthy mind in a healthy body!
I have a bike of my own and enjoy riding up the Jungnang Stream whenever I have a free Saturday.
I usually ride about ten or fifteen kilometers upstream, halting along the way at a pathside tent for beer to quench my thirst and food to nourish my body. I emphatically recommend this for exercise and pleasure. Downstream offers even greater possibilities, but upstream guarantees more scenery.
With riding out of the way, let me talk about writing.
There’s no better way to integrate your learning than to write down your thoughts about what you’ve learned each day. Try keeping a daily journal in which you reflect on the day’s events – or on anything that strikes your fancy!
I maintain a daily blog, which I’ve titled Gypsy Scholar, and I write on all sorts of topics.
Seven years of daily blogging has profoundly improved my writing, and I’ve also learned a great deal about any number of things.You can, too, merely by daily writing.
Aside from riding and writing, there is the need to take your studies seriously. While American and Korean university experiences cannot be closely compared, I imagine there are some things in common.
The shock of the new, for instance, in the case of first-year students. I recall being shocked by ‘new’ grades – scores far lower than any I’d earned in high school! Or so my first midterms revealed.I brought those grades up by the time of my finals, and so will you first-year students.
Older students have likely reached some sort of compromise between study effort and acceptable grades.
Most important of all is to take some time to relax.
You’ve all experienced Korean high school’s “study hell” and know the toll that such a constant grind can take on your health. Study in Korean universities is less hellish, as you older students will know, but Korean students have a tendency to procrastinate and then try to cram everything into their brains the day before a test.
My advice is that all of you, no matter what your university year, spread your study out over the semester so that you don’t harm your health before midterms and finals by lack of sleep.After several first-semester experiences of studying all night, I learned this lesson very well.
But do you really need my advice?
You know to eat balanced, healthy meals for your bodies – which I’ll refrain from belaboring – and the importance of regular sleeping patterns for sufficient reast, daily exercise for relieving stress and staying in shape, and sensible study habits for decent grades.
You know all this, so I’ll just say “Welcome!” to the first-semester students and “Welcome back!” to all others.
* Professor Horace J. Hodges has worked in the English Program Office at Ewha Womans University since 2008. Professor Hodges earned his Masters degree in Hisotry of Science and Ph.D in History from Univsersity of California, Berkeley. He has also published articles on history, political science, literary criticism, and religious studies as well as poems and a few short stories.