Winter Break Episode 6

"As children, we have always looked forward to winter break as a hiatus from school and all the stress that school entails. But if you are living in Seoul and a junior in high school like myself, you start to dread winter break. Winter break means extra hours to spend in cram schools (a.k.a hagwons) trying to squeeze information into our already overworked brains. We sit on our bottoms for hours at a time in a crowded room a few degrees too hot, trying not to zone out to the lecturer's monotonous voice. The word "break" is misleading, almost mocking. It disillusions us into thinking that we will be sipping hot cocoa in front of a warm fireplace until we snap back into reality and realize that we have been zoning out to the lecturer's boring litany once again."

Sarah Lee (Junior) of Yongsan International School of Seoul (South Korea)

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