The twenty-tens draw to a close. A few short weeks remain of the decade that has guided our generation to adulthood. Take a moment to think back to where you were at the beginning of 2010; I’m sure that many of us here in KAIST now could never have imagined then that this is how our lives would be going.
In 2010, I was just finishing primary school. I was a precocious young child who dreamt of becoming a writer. Forming my own opinions for the first time, I felt I already understood the ways of the world. At age eleven, I certainly felt mature as I played the lead role in our end-of-year school production of “Alice in Wonderland”, and said goodbye to both friends and the first memorable chapter of my life. Of course, looking back now, I can laugh at my innocence and childish overconfidence in my singing abilities. But I can also still almost taste the satisfaction and pride of creating something, putting on a show that at the time seemed to be the most important thing in the world. To this day, I remember the lyrics to the songs:
“What will become of me now,
I can’t imagine what I should do.
Is this a magical spell I’m under?
Things keep happening that hardly seem true”
Unlike Alice, I have managed thus far not to consume potions labelled “Drink me!”, and my tears of frustration have not yet caused a flood in my dorm room. But nevertheless, her words — my lines so diligently learnt a decade ago — are my thoughts today. This semester has seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, filled to the brim with new experiences that I couldn’t have imagined even two years ago. But here I am as a writer, ten years on from my primary school days, living the dream — just in a rather different scenario than I ever envisaged. I have already completed half of my term as Editor-in-Chief, and to be honest, it’s been more difficult than expected. Creating something of worth to KAIST society consumes a huge amount of my time and energy, but I wouldn’t wish it any other way. I hope the Herald’s readership continues to grow in 2020.
For this final month of 2019, we have dedicated our Feature (pages 8 and 9) to a review of the events and developments of the past decade, from unbelievable tech advancements to political turmoil. In International (page 6), we interviewed one of the first foreign students at KAIST to consider the changes closer to home, and contemplated the meaning of new year’s resolutions in Society (page 10). In these uncertain and trying times, many are wondering what will become of the world in the next decade. The future seems bleak as the climate crisis steadily approaches a critical tipping point. On this and all fronts we must not disregard the lessons of the previous ten years.
Sometimes I wonder whether, like Alice, I will wake up from this whirlwind life to discover it has all been a dream. But I hope that I won’t; I hope that my next ten years are equally full of magical and curious happenings as has been the 2010s. Uncertainty about the future is normal, but let’s not be afraid of it. When you embrace the unknown, things can happen that hardly seem true.
Looking forward to the twenties,