OWL Magazine Korea

Consolation for Wandering Youth – “It Hurts, That’s Why It’s Youth”

In the 2010s, South Korea experienced a period of fascination with the concept of “healing.” The culture of providing comfort to youth and young adults, extending even to comfort for adults facing the challenges of life, dominated the mainstream for a while. While the societal atmosphere is now shifting towards offering “realistic alternatives” due to harsh realities, during that time, healing content prevailed.

Perhaps, the book “It Hurts, That’s Why It’s Youth” by Professor Kim Nando played a role in initiating this “healing culture.” Published at the end of 2010, the book, with Kim Nando’s unique and engaging writing style, resonated with young adults, becoming a bestseller in 2011 and 2012.

Despite some criticism emerging later in the mid-2010s, the book gained popularity during a period when healing content was in demand.

“A Book Consoling Wandering Youth: It Hurts, That’s Why It’s Youth.”

Summarizing the content of the book, it is a consolation for wandering youth. The main message revolves around the idea that things don’t always work out immediately, facing such times can make one stronger, and it can serve as a foundation for growth.

Initially hesitant to read such self-help books, I came across this one by chance in a bookstore. Although skeptical, considering it just another self-help book, the unique writing style and the focus on “failure” rather than “success” set it apart.

“Life Clock: If life were compared to 24 hours…”

The book introduces the concept of the “life clock,” a metaphor commonly used in self-help lectures. It symbolizes that if life were a 24-hour clock, we might have just passed 8 AM or, at most, noon. If we consider life as lasting a hundred years, youth in their 20s and 30s have only experienced a fraction of it. This hopeful message, combined with the themes of “healing” and “comfort,” contributed to the book’s popularity.

“The Distance between Professors and Students.”

The book also addresses the growing distance between professors and students, suggesting that it is not a positive trend. It proposes that students taking the initiative to approach professors could be a solution. While this might seem obvious, the book emphasizes the importance of bridging this gap for a better learning environment.

“I Actually Visited the Professor.”

In 2012, as a university student, I decided to put the book’s advice into practice. Although physically visiting Professor Kim Nando’s office was impractical for me, I opted to visit Professor Kim Yu, the head of the English Literature department at Sungkyunkwan University, where I was enrolled.

Professor offices are not easily accessible, possibly due to the hierarchical gap between students and professors. Despite the difficulty, armed with the book and a newfound courage, I approached Professor Kim Yu.

  • “I read in this book that students should visit professors first.”
  • “Oh, really? What book is that?”
  • As I handed him the book, he said, “Alright, give it a try. Introduce yourself.”

And thus, we naturally began a conversation. We discussed the challenges of university life, the difficulties of course registration, and the struggles with English studies and major courses. Visiting a professor and engaging in such a conversation was something I rarely did before, and reading the book provided the courage to do so.

“A Book Somewhat Misaligned with Current Trends.”

Kim Nando’s book, “It Hurts, That’s Why It’s Youth,” may not entirely align with current trends. The societal atmosphere has shifted away from solely focusing on “healing,” understanding that mere comfort is insufficient without practical solutions to life’s challenges.

Today’s news is filled with depressing stories, from wars worldwide to economic struggles and low birth rates in South Korea. Despite the book’s potential misalignment with current trends, it deserves praise for offering a “message of hope” to wavering youth.

  • It hurts, that’s why it’s youth.
  • It’s anxious, that’s why it’s youth.
  • It wavers, that’s why it’s youth.
  • It’s lonely, that’s why it’s youth.
  • It throbs, that’s why it’s youth.
  • Therefore, it’s youth.
  • Every beginning is always painful and anxious.
  • But remember, you are dazzlingly beautiful.

“It Hurts, That’s Why It’s Youth.”

  • Author: Kim Nando
  • Publication Date: December 24, 2010
  • ISBN13: 9788965700036
  • Yes24: Link