“I did something but I should have done better” was the most prominent response of HAFS students to the question, “What is your opinion on your action on Parents’ Day?” Many interesting trends such as this were seen in the recent survey conducted by HAFS Harbinger via Facebook.
From the results of the survey, it could be concluded that students at HAFS were generally aware of the importance of Parents’ Day but did not spend a lot of money for the particular event. Over 58% of students prepared a special event for this occasion and of this group, the most practised act was giving parents a hand-written letter, thanking them and telling parents about the love they feel, which is an emotion that is not always clearly conveyed. Following in popularity was surprises, flowers and simple phrases like “I love you.”
Moreover, over 83% of students did not use over 10,000 KRW to buy presents and prepare surprises, suggesting that the day was not conceived to be a materialistic exchange of presents, which is often the case for days such as White Day or Pepero Day in Korea especially, when Koreans use on average 38,000 KRW. The significance of Parents’ Day could be further seen by additional comments students left below the survey, all expressing their regret that they only did a few things on such an important day and promising to do better next year. A few of the comments read “Living in the dormitory, I couldn’t do much, which is something I really regret. Also, with the AP exams… Next year, I want to plan something even if it is late.” “Parents’ Day is an occasion to demonstrate our love for our parents and I would like to do something more meaningful next year”.
From the data collected through the survey and the additional comments left by students, it was evident that awareness for Parents’ Day was extremely high and the mindset to do ‘good deeds’ was clearly established. However, as high school students attending one of the most prestigious boarding schools in Korea, it is sometimes difficult to meet parents or actually accomplish what students would dream as an ‘ideal Parents’ Day’ due to the busy schedule that always circle students. Many students, even those who had prepared something for that day, expressed discontent regarding their actions, with no one replying “I was fully satisfied with what I did” to the question mentioned above: “What is your opinion on your actions on Parents’ Day?” This general disappointment, however, does not suggest that HAFS students are being ungrateful and not doing enough. In fact, it is a positive phenomenon. The honesty and awareness of students concerning their actions at least show that they are willing and conscious of ideal actions. This leads to the belief that, next year, a brighter Parents’ Day is to come with far less students dissatisfied with their actions.
BY Chanho Kim ’19