The Long March

Research shows that an ability to learn from experiences outside the classroom correlates with success in college. What was your greatest learning experience over the past 4 years that took place outside of the traditional classroom?

“I think I can’t go on,” a male student around 15 years old told his colleagues. When he untied his shoelaces and took off his socks, he found blisters on each of his sore feet. After walking for miles in sweaty sneakers, he shouldn’t have been surprised. The heat from the blazing sun poured down on him, and his group then rose again from the black asphalt. Yet, the boy had no intention of surrendering on the last day of their journey. Maybe he was too selfish or determined. His comrades, however, understood that he wanted to finish and split his burden by taking turns assisting him. Thankfully, he was able to share the fulfillment of finishing the journey with his friends.

Who was that stubborn boy? That boy was me.

This short episode happened at a youth event called ‘The Long March,’ an expedition during which I walked over 90 miles on foot through parts of South Korea. Undoubtedly, it was one of the most demanding and memorable experiences of my life. It not only tested my limits physically but also mentally. In extreme conditions, I was able to develop my capacity and potential. Before, I didn’t realize I was a goal motivated person or that have the ability to get along with other people from different backgrounds quickly....

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