What I learned from the first semester of high school

기사승인 2021.11.01  21:17:57   조회수 217




[During the Entrance Ceremony, I thought high school was a battlefield. Picture by Yejun Lee]

The first time I went to high school, I felt like a soldier being transferred to the frontline as I was a novice to the school.I prioritized grades and extracurricular activities over friendship. However, my mind changed as soon as I met other friends.

Everyone was so passionate about helping each other. The first performance evaluation I did was writing a physics experiment report. Since composing these types of reports was new to  me and  I did not know what to do. Every day I struggled with how  even to start the report. Help came when my roommate showed many exemplary reports. 

He told me elaborately about the experiment and tips on writing a science report. His advice was helpful, and I was able to get a good score on the report. To my surprise, my friend was delighted about the fact that I excelled in the performance evaluation.

Before, I thought that helping other friends was risky since it could affect my grade. But after I got help from my roommate, I realized that the achievement and experience of supporting other people may be the first priority.

After changing my mind, I began to help my friends. Using my  knowledge of History and English, I taught many passionate students.  I made possible questions to prepare for the upcoming exam.

Staying up late, I did not forget to study other subjects. When the exam was over, many of my friends who got help from me got a good score. Like my roommate who helped me, I was delighted that all the work I did turned out to be helpful. One of the kids raised more than 30 points, not to mention me, receiving a better score than the midterm exam.

After the exam, one of the friends that got help from me called me. He brought some snacks to say thanks to me. Realizing that I was having a hard time in science, my friend offered to help me. Like the time I mentioned, now I’m getting help from my friend once again.

There is a system called MPT (Minjok Peer Tutoring) where students teach other students in my school. The ‘teacher’ or the ‘mentor’  receives some volunteer time and the ‘student’ or the ‘mentee’ gets to learn. However, freshmen can volunteer as ‘mentor’ only after the first semester is over when enough experience is gathered. 

So all the activities I did will not be counted for volunteer time. But this was a great opportunity to practice how to help my friends. I like the purpose of this program. As mentioned in the motto of my school, the elite class must sacrifice themselves to make a better world. 

Teaching other people may sound like a minor thing, but it is an action that is on the right track.  I felt a sense of accomplishment not because I excelled in the study, but because I grew up based on the school motto.


[A picture of Korean Minjok Leadership Academy. Photo by Yejun Lee]


Though it may be obvious, helping is not only beneficial to other people, but it is also helpful for me. High school is not a place where one person can do everything alone. Unfortunately, under the current educational system, students view each other as competitors.

I have learned how to manage my time and keep the balance between working on my business and helping others. Teaching other friends is not just transferring my knowledge to my friends, but it also helps me. I can recheck the things I know and share ideas. Just like money, help is a thing that goes around, and comes around.

School is like a battlefield, where we are soldiers. However, just like the Christmas truce, viewing friends as a companion, not an enemy may seem awkward, but I found it amazing. 


Yejun Lee 
Grade 10       
Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Yejun Lee

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