Soohyun Jung '20

Name: Soohyun Jung

Class Year: 2020

Pronouns: She/Her

Major: Psychology and Education

Hometown: Queens, New York

 

Tell me a bit about how your summer was! Did you enjoy having four months off?

The four months were very enjoyable, but were definitely stressful because I didn’t have anything planned. I went a month or two just lounging at home, looking for jobs, and I finally got one in a preschool! I worked with kindergarteners in July as a teacher’s assistant and was a teacher for 2-4 year olds in August. My last two months of summer vacation were just filled from day to night with arts & crafts and nursery rhymes, but I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

 

What are some of the major differences between your first year at Mount Holyoke and your second? Has your experience improved at all?

One major difference is that the excitement of Mount Holyoke wore off and now it’s much more familiar and comfortable. I’m no longer searching for a place on campus, since I found one and I love it. But interestingly, I have a larger case of homesickness this year- definitely missing the city after four months at home. Another difference would definitely be the workload. I’m a CA this year, I’m the treasurer of a student organization called KASA (Korean American Sisters Association) and I’m taking on one more course than last year, so I’ve definitely been more busy and scheduling has been hectic. But I do love being busy- I felt like I wasn’t doing enough last year so this change is nice.

 

Do you have any courses to recommend to First-Years for second semester? What did you like most about these courses?

I may be a bit biased, but any psychology courses! The professors in the Psychology department are literally amazing and I learned so much, not just about theories and concepts, but about the life and the world around us. And for those who are just not into psychology, a course I would definitely recommend is Modern & Contemporary Europe with Professor Fitz-Gibbon. He changed the way I thought about history and his passion is definitely contagious.

 

What are your favorite aspects of being a Community Advisor? How about your least favorite?

My favorite aspect is definitely meeting some of the sweetest and funniest first-years. I don’t think I would’ve had an opportunity to know them had it not been for this position. My least favorite part would be trekking up and down the hill every day. I love being surrounded by the enthusiasm firsties have, but MacGregor is just too far for my liking.

 

What organizations are you a part of? Do you have a favorite one?

I’m a part of KASA (Korean American Sisters Association) and Rainbow Jelly. I don’t have a favorite, but I do love Rainbow Jelly as a stress reliever. I’m not a great dancer nor do I see dancing as my main priority, but the dopamine and adrenaline rush help me cope with life and it’s an excuse to have fun with my friends. KASA is definitely something I find comfortable. It’s relaxing to be around people who, like me, identify as Korean or Korean American and who care about and want to learn about Korean culture. It’s also a great way to cure my homesickness since we have events that involve Korean food and I grew up eating mainly that!

 

You’ve told me before about your interest in teaching children. Is there a specific grade you’d want to teach, or a certain location you’d want to teach in?

I love spending my time teaching younger children because they are so innocent and full of determination, so I would love to teach elementary school, specifically first or second grade. I personally don’t agree that standardized testing helps students learn, so I don’t want to teach grades that require students to take the citywide or statewide tests. New York City is my home, so I would love to teach there, but I went to Boston last year and I thought it was such a great place to be a teacher because of the abundance of history in Boston. I visited the Paul Revere House, the Boston Tea House Museum, and much more, and I thought it would be great to take my future students to these places as field trips when I teach them history.

 

Are you planning on studying abroad in the future? If so, what country are you hoping to study in?

I don’t plan on studying abroad in the future due to personal issues, but if I were able to, I would love to go to Germany, Denmark, or Finland. I want to see how German students learn English because they are just so great at English despite it being their second language! I, like many of my friends, learned Spanish for six years, yet we are nowhere near fluent. So I would love to see what Germany does differently. I want to go to Finland as well because their education system is so radical and I saw that they are ranked very high in education around the world. What I loved about Finland is that their students don’t seem to undergo the stress that many Asian students go through to reach high ranking scores and I would love the opportunity to observe the classrooms for myself. And finally, I would love to go to Denmark because I heard many Psychology and Education majors go to Copenhagen for an Education program, and I heard it was a great, life changing program so I would love to visit Copenhagen, Denmark as well!

 

Can you name your top five favorite locations on campus and why?

I don’t have a favorite location on campus, but I do love the little rooms on the fifth floor in the library. When I look for somewhere to study, all I really need is a window that allows sunshine to shine through!

 

And finally, what makes you smile the most in the world?

Children! Their sweetness, innocence, and determination inspires me and motivates me. They are truly my source of hope that one day, the world would be a much more open, loving, and understanding place.

 

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