Jiyoung is a Writer, Educator, Traveller, Crazy One and “In-Gi” based in Seoul!

 

 

Say hello!

I am Jiyoung, but in Western countries I go by Georgia. I was in the university theatre group and the first role I got was called Georgia, and for three months in rehearsals I was always called by my character’s name… so soon, I got used to the name and decided to call myself Georgia in English.

I’m currently an MA student in English literature at Ewha Womans University, South Korea. I thought doing a master’s in literature would be the same as reading and loving novels… it’s not. I have no idea what I’m doing in my degree and I’m sick of reading and dissecting Foucault and Agamben that I’m heading to Australia this year to relax and figure out what I want to do with my life.

We believe you’re more than just your job title. So tell us, what are you passionate about?

I love traveling and meeting all kinds of people. It’s where I get most of my energy from. I have an immense enthusiasm for walking around everywhere, going on cheap trips around the world, and just talking with people and getting to know about their lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs. I can become best friends with people sitting next to me on planes, my students, a friend of a friend who’s agreed to take me around just for a day.

I love to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have a knack for gathering people, whether it be the audience for a theatre performance or my group English lectures which I conduct in the summer and winter holidays. In Korean the correct term would be in-gi, (gi, as in the Chinese chi. It means people flock to you wherever you go. Not the same thing as being popular – I just attract myself to people, including the crazy ones, and vice versa.) 

I also love writing. I have to write to clear my head when I have a massive dilemma. I wrote a 200-page memoir when I was in high school and published a book of personal essays with other high school students nationwide –  which helped me get accepted to a lot of the major universities in Seoul.

I’m bilingual in Korean and in English; I speak better in Korean and write better in English. So I’m always writing in journals, on Microsoft Word, scribbling away, and organizing my thoughts that way. When I post my thoughts on the misogyny in Korea or how I should change my thoughts for the better on Instagram, dozens of my friends and people whom I don’t know share or save it on their own accounts. I think writing is often the best communication method, especially when you have something deep and personal but extremely strong you feel you must get out in the open. I hope to publish a book of personal essays with other graduate students from all over the world this year.

What keeps you busy at the moment? Thinking about your journey here, what are your biggest learnings?

Teaching! I tutor mostly adults in their preparation for TOEFL. Right now I have seventeen students that I teach in groups and individually. I organize my classes and post tips on learning English on my business Instagram account, so I have random people from all over Korea and even from other countries asking me for help and inquiring about my classes. It’s tiring but mostly fun as I get to meet all kinds of people from diverse backgrounds who all have the common passion for learning and improving their English skills. I always learn from them as much as I teach. Every student is different and most of them are joys to work with.

I actually wrote something for my 24th birthday last September:

24 Things I Learned While Being 23

  1. I am so loved, by so many people. 
  2. Envy and jealousy are so common, but so well hidden. 
  3. The importance of peace and love within family.
  4. Figuring out what people want to hear and telling them those things is sometimes all that matters in winning their approval and love. You cannot expect everyone to embrace and love everything about you. 
  5. You are your biggest supporter and best friend. 
  6. The importance of me time. Just me in my room, all by myself, reading, writing, taking a nap or whatever. Enjoying life does not always have to be proven with quality company.
  7. Self-help begins from your room – hanging up your clothes, doing the laundry, vacuuming, etc. Relishing the peace that comes from making your room neat and tidy.
  8. Korea has so many beautiful places to hike and enjoy nature.
  9. Sometimes decisions are made not to make you happy but to stop you from being unhappy.
  10. The value of hugging as a habit.
  11. The importance of time management..
  12. I as a young woman should make myself physically strong.
  13. If you’re unhappy, go see a therapist! Mental health is so important!
  14. The importance of good music.
  15. The happiness and peace that I feel after writing.
  16. The slow and steady progress of lifting heavier weights at the gym. It’s not about the result, but the progress itself. The result is just part of the progress.
  17. A woman need not, and should not, depend on a man. 
  18. However rich or poor you are, you should not let your wealth define you.
  19. The importance of quality sleep. 
  20. Stretching before sleep. 
  21. You really do get smarter with each semester lol 
  22. The importance of a change of scenery. 
  23. Some people can be very aware of one cause but completely ignorant in another.
  24. The importance of exposing one’s face to sunlight. Sunrises, sunsets and golden hours.

When are you most productive andcreative? How do you get into the flow? 

I love arriving at the cafes just when they’ve opened at 7am to work while drinking either sparkling juice or an iced soy latte before I need to hand in the assignment or have to go to class later that day. I’m quite sporadic when it comes to work, and I have a horrible attention span, so what really works for me is setting the alarm to every fifteen minutes so that I’m always alert and focused. Ever since I came to grad school, I’ve depended on my friends to drag me to the library or cafes to make me study. The people that make me study the best are the ones who never need to take breaks and can just read and read for hours at a time without getting distracted by their surroundings – their calm aura helps me to focus on my work. When I have to pull an all-nighter, I go to sleep for a bit and wake up at three or four in the morning to work furiously. From 10pm to 3am are my worst hours – I really need the sleep then.

I have a ton of working spots that I go around. It can be my bedroom, the kitchen table, cafes, the university library… one of my favourite places is the outside tables at one of the cafes in university. I love the sunlight and having the appropriate number of people passing by lets me focus on my work instead of dozing off or playing Candy Crush on my phone.

What playlist is on in the background and why?

I listen to New Age classical music, it’s a playlist that I downloaded back in 2012 when I was in high school. It’s so comfortable and nice and reminds me of the days when I really worked… high school will probably always be the time when I worked the most in my life. The list is comprised of Yiruma and other Korean and Japanese pianists. 

Where is home at the moment? 

I have two or three homes right now: my parents’ house in Bundang, which is a suburban town an hour’s drive from Seoul, my grandparents’ house also in Bundang, where I spent my high school and half of my university life, and the tiny apartment near campus in Ewha which I share with three other girls. I feel most comfortable in my tiny room in the Ewha apartment, so I guess I would call that my home.

What do you love about this place? Is there anything you feel makes it unique?

I love this place because I always dreamed of having a place of my own in Seoul as an adult. It’s an old, tiny apartment and can get quite messy and dusty but it’s on the top of a hill so I get free brilliant sunrises overlooking the Namsan Tower every morning and can catch the sunset on my way uphill in the afternoons.

My room is probably the smallest I’ll ever live in in all my life but the wallpaper is a nice shade of lavender and I’ve decorated it with matching pink curtains and a pink lamp so that I’m finally living out my high-teen romance protagonist bedroom goals. I’ve also put up pictures and fairy lights so that I’m surrounded by the smiling faces of the people that I love. Many friends come to sleep over (foreign friends traveling in Seoul and my Korean friends after a night out) or just to chat, and I love the freedom of having people over and talking for hours comfortably on the bed, too. The girls I live with are also super nice, and cooking together and just talking in the morning or after we’ve come home is so comforting and relaxing. I have to move out in a month because I’m moving to Australia but I think this place will be always memorable to me as my first house in Seoul as a grown-up.

Tell us about the hidden gems that you’d take your visitors/friends to where you live and why you chose them? 

It’s not really hidden as it’s the national palace but I love Gwanghwamun. It’s supposed to have the best Feng Shui in the country and I totally agree – every time I go there, I feel so open and rejuvenated. I think it’s one of the few places in Seoul where there are many tall buildings and people but you don’t feel claustrophobic at all because the space is just so wide and open.

I sometimes walk from Ewha to Gwanghwamun, which takes me about an hour, and eat Godiva ice cream. And close to that are is Bukchon or Seochon, the traditional villages with cute cafes and shops that are so nice to take strolls in and read books. I think these old houses in these villages are what make Korea unique – not the skyscrapers or the technology. So I always take my foreign friends to Gwanghwamun on a sunny day out.

The Sense Network work together to make things better and make better things.

I’d like to collaborate with Sensers that would like to travel, learn about foreign cultures, discuss issues to do with race and gender. I could support others in The Sense Network by hosting meetups or showing international people around in Seoul, or getting more people to join.

If you could change anything about our world and society, what would it be where would you start?

Feminism, racism, and climate change are such important issues that I feel very passionately about. I would like for everyone to read Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and Edward Said’s Orientalism, stop using plastic, stop eating meat, and just think about their privileges. I think people in their teens and twenties have the right to be educated, but also the responsibility to educate themselves, not just for their own good, but for others less privileged.  

Inspiration from you to us

You’ve got to read Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble because it is so easy to read and explains everything about gender performativity.

Hello World. Put yourself out there…

Klaudia Pawelczyk, London

Klaudia is a nuance lover, vintage fashion enthusiast and curious connector of dots based in...

Read more

Read more

Simon Freund, Munich

Simon is an Artist, Misfit, and Philosopher currently based in Munich. Say hello! Hello,...

Read more

Read more

Anoushka Veljee, San Jose

Anoushka is a Fashion Designer, Art Lover, Explorer and Creative Thinker based in San Jose,...

Read more

Read more

Toby Eccles, London

Toby is the co-founder of Social Finance and positive social change-maker based in London! ...

Read more

Read more

Jiyoung Lee, Seoul

Jiyoung is a Writer, Educator, Traveller, Crazy One and "In-Gi" based in Seoul!   ...

Read more

Read more

Zac Masih, Bedford

Zac is a Digital Strategist, Rebel and an Adrenaline Junkie based in Bedford!     ...

Read more

Read more

The future needs you. Join The Sense Network today.

Open menu

The Future is Here ...

How might The Sense Network help you?

Send us an email. Say hello and ask us a question.

box-lets-chat

Not found what you are looking for?

Use this form to tell it like it is. We love feedback.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.