Hon-young, Hon-bab, Hon-sul, Hon-shopping, Hon-haeng… These are the words that are used in our society these days, and refer to familiar lifestyles. Hon is the first letter of the Korean word that means ‘alone’. Hon-young means ‘Watching a movie alone’, Hon-bab means ‘Eating alone’, Hon-sul is ‘Drinking alone’, and Hon-haeng means ‘Going on a trip alone’. In the past, doing something alone received negative or curious attention rather than positive or indifferent views. However, there have been changes in the social environment recently, such as a sharp increase in the number of singleperson households and an increase in attitudes toward focusing a little more on oneself than on others’ views. These new trendis changing the way people look at being ‘alone’. Currently, you can check out a series of hashtags that are related to Hon on SNS. Also, if you ask people around you if you have ever done something by yourself outside, almost everyone will say they have had an ‘alone’ experience at least once. I also have some ‘alone’ experiences. I like to spend my time alone. I share my ‘alone’ experiences with Soongsilians, who are still afraid to do something alone, in the hope that they will be encouraged. And I hope Soongsilians, who enjoy their time alone like me, will empathize with me.
Watching a movie alone - level of solitude
I think it is the easiest thing to do alone. In some theaters, there are even one-person seats at the end of the theater. Watching a movie alone has the advantage of being able to concentrate fully on the movie itself at the time you want to see it based on your schedule.
Eating alone - level of solitude
I think it is really easy to eat alone at the university cafeteria. However, because of the specificity of the place, I am a little embarrassed when I am in contact with my peers. So I choose ‘Snackcorner’ or ‘Foodcourt’ when I eat alone. Restaurants that are good for eating alone are recommended with single-person seats or a bar-style table. Flour food, sandwiches, and covered rice are the most convenient food choices to eat alone. I have even tried eating Pan-fried Marinated Small Octopus and Maratang alone. However, if you have a certain amount of confidence, it is the easiest way to do alone.
Shopping alone, Going to coin karaoke alone - level of solitude
Shopping alone and going to a coin karaoke alone are the best means to focus on oneself. While shopping alone, I can have my way without being swayed by anyone’s opinions. Of course, there is a very high tendency to overspend because there is no one to give you an honest comment or control impulse-buying against a honey-mouthed clerk. Going to a coin karaoke room on my own is ‘doing it alone’, which I did more often than going to school and eating alone. When I think of a song I want to sing or I want to relieve my stress, I sing several songs in a row. During that time, a cozy coin karaoke room is perfect for me.
Even for someone like me, who seems to be doing well alone, going to a restaurant alone or traveling alone is still not easy. There was a time when I went to the bathroom with a friend when I was in middle school, and when I skipped dinner because I was embarrassed about having to eat alone in a club. Even now, I feel embarrassed when I meet someone I know while I am eating alone. Still, when I am tired of relationships or want to spend my time entirely on my own, I do not think there is anything better than doing something alone. I support the culture of ‘self-doing’ until the day when everyone can eat alone in restaurants and buffets without any compunction.
Kim Yun-ha (News Editor)