Sat, Feb 02, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Hit S Korean show reveals ‘SKY’-high school pressure

AFP, SEOUL

“I’m just going to go and live my own life,” he says.

One SKY graduate in Seoul who did not want to be named said that her parents were overjoyed when she did well at school, but would become stern and distant when her grades slipped.

When characters in SKY Castle asked their parents “to see them and love them for who they are, plain and simple, and not for their accomplishments,” she said that it “resonated a lot with me.”

Her parents were not SKY graduates and regularly told her about resulting professional disadvantages.

“I just wish I had been motivated on my own and not through my parents’ wishes for me,” the 29-year-old said.

Choi, who is working with lawmakers to ban discrimination based on university degrees, said that South Korea’s educational culture has had social consequences.

“Under the current system, you are forced to view your friends only as your competitors,” he said. “The result is a society where almost nobody has any support network.”

Even now, the 29-year-old said that she feels anxiety and a need to “prove herself” after her years at an elite high school.

“Those very high standards are now wired into me,” she said. “What makes me a worthy and lovable person? I still wonder. That question is something that will take all my life to answer.”

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