Right after I graduated from high school, I was really looking forward to putting on makeup to be a ‘pretty’ university student. I watched a lot of videos of makeup artists on YouTube and learned how to do it. I was worried that I will be fat, and if I was not ‘pretty’. After I entered university, I could not go school without putting makeup. One day, the train which I had to take to go to school was delayed for a few minutes. Although I might be late for school, I put makeup in the powder room in the train station. Only after that I could go to school. I cared not only of my face, but also about my behaviors. When I took class with my friends, I hesitated to ask the question to the professor because I didn’t want to be perceived as a "grinder”. Like so, I had always considered how others would judge me.
After living a year like this, I took College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) again, finally I entered EWHA. I took a lecture named ‘Women and social justice’ in the first semester. In the class, we learned that ‘femininity’ is not an innate feature, but it is just an illusion that society has made. Thinking deeply about that, I was able to stop worrying about how people judge me. Since then, I could wear what I want, and I could eat anything I want without worrying getting fat. Also, many classmates shared their opinion freely in comfortable atmosphere. We could talk about our own values without any restriction. At that moment, I learned that it is okay to speak out my opinion with confidence. Moreover, in the orientation program for freshmen, we took an oath to respect each other because various people have various values. It said that we should use honorifics to each other when we do not know other schoolmates’ age, and that we should not judge each other's sexual orientation. Without these oaths, I might judge other schoolmate with my stereotypes I had had. I had thought my values were everybody's values, but I set foot in a new world.
In Ewha, I came to respect others by being respected by others. I now have a habit of looking at others without stereotypes. In other words, I am living my life as real me by respecting myself. Even though I acted as myself, my friends and family respected and supported me. They love me as me, not my external characteristics.
Something that you are obsessed with and stressed about right now would be, in fact, an illusion or prejudice created by society. I did not know this for 21 years of my life before I came to Ewha. I could not realize this before I was respected by others. It is a common saying, but you are the hero of your life. Do not try to fit you to the expectations or prejudices of the people around you but listen to your own voice. If you know how to respect yourself, you can also respect others. Then they also will be able to respect other people themselves. Trying to get rid of many stereotypes, the world that does not miss anyone will start to end.