Seojin Kim (Cindy)
With the pen as a sword,
be the voice of the era A passionate girl’s
dream of becoming a “journalist”
Studying at Xi’an Liangjiatan International School for two years
University Acceptances: Korean university applications
Tall and slender, with shoulder-length hair and a pair of eyes that curve like crescent moons behind a round pair of glasses—this was our initial impression of Cindy. When we first met her, she seemed a bit shy, and there was a hint of reserve in our conversation. However, as we got to know each other better, her words noticeably flowed more freely. During our nearly hour-long interview, we had the privilege of following this Korean girl’s path of growth, delving into her inner world, and touching the texture of her spirit to understand a more multi-dimensional Gen Z girl.
Although she studied at Xi’an Liangjiatan International School for only two years, her outstanding performance in various subjects left a deep impression on us during her high school years.
Last year, as one of the student representatives, she appeared in an official introduction video for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at our school during the accreditation process by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
She eloquently spoke in fluent English about the distinctive features and advantages of our DP curriculum. In March of this year, at the Visual Arts Exhibition of the graduating class of 2023, she ingeniously used a red string to connect two separate “hands” (sculptures), conveying the theme of “pure and eternal love” through the play of light and shadow, earning high praise from the attending teachers and students.
Seojin Kim is preparing for her application to Korean universities . After the final results of the IBDP are announced, she will choose one of the top universities in South Korea to embark on a new university learning journey.
In our conversation, we noticed that behind her typical Asian appearance, there lies an incredibly inclusive and open-minded soul. This is closely tied to the educational background of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program’s teaching and learning approaches, as well as her unique and diverse life experiences.
Due to frequent job changes by her parents, Cindy attended kindergarten in Malaysia and then went on to study in both Malaysia and Korea during her elementary school years. Later, she and her brother moved with their parents to Central Europe, where they spent their high school years in Hungary. They eventually moved to China and completed the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at Xi’an Liangjiatan International School.
The contrasting cultural backgrounds of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Europe continuously collided during her upbringing, gradually expanding the boundaries of her own worldview. In this subtle process, a more broad-minded perspective and set of values quietly took shape. She is concerned about current affairs, pays attention to global issues, and has her own unique insights on various profound topics. She enjoys thinking and researching, as well as exchanging ideas with her classmates. She even brings discussions home and freely shares her viewpoints with her parents at the dinner table.
Despite having lived in multiple countries since childhood, she has never shown anxiety or nervousness whenever she finds herself in a completely new environment. She loves to smile, and she is brave in expressing her own opinions. In the eyes of her teachers, her positive energy always manages to quickly influence those around her. Trace it back to its roots, and Cindy believes that all of this is thanks to the sense of security instilled in her by a healthy and nurturing family and school atmosphere.
“The two biggest influences from my family upbringing are: first, to be honest in everything I do, whether it’s academic pursuits or how I interact with others, I strive to be genuine and sincere. Second, never shy away from problems; face them because only by confronting problems can we accurately solve them.”
Multiculturalism, global issues, a love for critical thinking, effective communication, openness, sincerity, accuracy, problem solver… When all these qualities converge in one person, it naturally reflects a profound love and compassion for the world. So when Cindy expresses her dream of becoming a journalist, we are not surprised at all.
“I think being a journalist is so cool!”
Where does this “coolness” come from? And how should we understand this “coolness”? From the stories Cindy shared with us, everything becomes clear.
During the process of following the details of the event, Cindy gradually realized that it is not an easy task to present the complete picture of a news event in a timely, objective, and accurate manner, which is exactly the responsibility of a journalist. As the first ones to convey information to the public, journalists need to be highly responsible for every word they say and every letter they write. The nature of the profession determines that “no room for error” is not an ideal wish for journalists but a bottom-line requirement. In order to ensure the authenticity and effectiveness of the material, journalists must often rush to different news scenes and obtain the most useful information within a limited time, which undoubtedly poses a dual challenge to their mental and physical abilities.
“This is not an easy job, but I think being a journalist is remarkable. The energy they convey is enormous!”
Cindy told us that although she is attracted to various aspects of journalism, her determination to choose this career path is inseparable from the profound influence of one person on her.
In early 2019, a video depicting the assault of a customer at the well-known Korean nightclub Burning Sun sparked a series of scandals that shocked the entire country. These scandals involved Korean celebrities allegedly engaging in drug trafficking, bribery of the police, and organizing prostitution. Due to the involvement of several important figures from the political and business sectors, the vast difference in social status and power hindered journalists in their pursuit of the truth. However, at that time, a female journalist named Kang Kyung-yoon, who was one of the first reporters to cover and track the events, displayed bravery, fearlessness, and professional integrity in her quest to uncover the truth. Her unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth deeply impressed and inspired Cindy.
“It is not difficult to imagine the challenges a female journalist faces when challenging authority in the pursuit of truth. Despite facing various difficulties and personal threats, she did not retreat or hesitate. She upheld her professional duty and tirelessly advocated for marginalized groups. I greatly admire and respect her for this.”
Driven by the power of this role model, Cindy made an unwavering decision to pursue a journalism major during her university application process.
“In the future, I would like to start with social news, delving deep into understanding various industries and using my own words to convey the most authentic voices of different social groups.” After saying this, she casually wrote down a motto on the paper that has inspired her for many years:”The pen is mightier than the sword.”
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Fancy Fan (Admin Officer)