For many college students, March marks the beginning of the spring semester, and along with it, fresh starts on multiple fronts. For the incoming freshmen, they are standing before more or less four years of college life ahead of them. The path lying ahead is teeming with endless possibilities; where the path will take them depends on the choices they make. The path is analogous to the passage of time, with countless forks in the road representing the decisions they must make. Which classes should they take? What extracurricular activities will they engage in? Who will they make acquaintances with and with whom will they form lifelong friendships? The traveler can define his own path by choosing which turn to make at each crossroad.
We have all been that freshman standing before taking his first step. Over the years, we have embarked down the road, each turn we take leading us to who we have become today. For me, my choices have led me here to the present, writing my fifth letter to the readers — a milestone indicating that more than half of my term as Editor-in-Chief has passed. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have my choices take me along a journey I can always be grateful of. This does not mean, however, that I do not consider the what-ifs or what-could-have-beens. We do not always make the best choices that we can be proud of; we can always fail to take the most optimal route.
It is only natural that our fear of failure causes us to become anxious before we embark on any new path. In light of the unprecedentedly high number of recent changes, I feel justified in speaking, without exaggeration, for all reporters of the Herald that this month’s issue was one of the most hectic and demanding to publish. Even though not even a full month has passed since our long hiatus over the winter vacation, we have all returned to school only to be inundated by innumerable social changes, big and small, ongoing inside and outside the campus. This month is particularly symbolic of a new beginning in multiple senses. Starting from the most major impacts, the political and social landscape of Korea is drastically shifting in light of the Constitutional Court’s unanimous ruling to uphold former President Park’s removal from office as of March 10. Just five days later, KAIST has now come under a new leadership following the inauguration of Dr. Sung-Chul Shin, as the 16th President of KAIST.
From a more local standpoint, the Herald has undergone some changes of its own. The Herald is now working with a new cartoonist, and has experimented with major layout changes in the Society and Culture Divisions. The changes were aimed at enhancing the reader experience and drawing more engagement by offering more varied and flexible contents of our paper on a monthly basis. Taking in the teachings of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”, to heart, we are pioneering and experimenting with new approaches in hopes of better reaching out to the readership. However, what I can definitely say about the changes we are fumbling through is this: nothing is certain.
New beginnings may be unfamiliar and confusing, but I can vouch that it will all be for the better in the long run.
Young Jip Kim