Korean Pre-University Students Earning School Fees And Money For Cosmetic Surgery From Temporary And Part-Time Holiday Jobs | Korean Culture News

Korea workforce is seeing the addition of more Pre-University students. There is a rising trend for students to work in the freezing winter so they can pay for their own tuition fees, instead of having their parents to pay for them.

On the other hand, there are also a lot of students using their parents’ money or their own hard earned cash on cosmetic surgery for enhancing their eyes and noses. If that’s not enough, some are even thinking of having a “brand new self” by revamping their faces, arms, legs and etc. These people are willing to spend massive bucks to go through the painful plastic surgery procedures, all in the name of beauty. With influence from media, the desire to look great like Korean celebrities is becoming more popular with these pre-university students.

Korean Culture - Korean Plastic Surgery / Korean Cosmetic Surgery

Korean Culture - Korean Plastic Surgery / Korean Cosmetic Surgery

Queuing to go under the knife: Pre-University female students queuing up in a cosmetic surgery clinic for consultation in S-Dong Kangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Yi, a 19-year-old student who has recently been accepted into Korea University, cried buckets when watching a hit movie about an ugly girl that went through the emotional and physical pain of cosmetic surgery to get transformed into a beauty. She said, “It’s just like my life story!” The female character in the film had a hard time making up her mind about going for a full-body cosmetic surgery. And when she finally decided to get the surgery over and done with, she still could not find the self-confidence she thought she would get and as a result, felt lost and frightened. And even though the film shows that cosmetic surgery is not the solution to self-confidence, these young Koreans are still keen to go for it.

After receiving the letter of her acceptance into the University in August last year, Yi began to work in various odd jobs just so that she could earn enough for her cosmetic surgery. All 4 million Korean won earned from her various jobs  like hotel reception and English-speaking hourly jobs were used to pay for her cosmetic surgery. In October last year, she had her eyes and nose done and in November, she had breast implants and liposuction. Even the 20 million Korean won which she got from her mother was all spent on her surgery.

Yi said, “Some of the bandages have not been taken down from my body yet. When I go out, I have to wear more clothes to cover my operation scars from top to toe.” She then added, “However, I don’t mind at all as this is the only way to becoming beautiful.”

In this month, the cosmetic surgery clinic in S-Dong Kangnam-gu had conducted more than 150 consultations, which is twice the number then during normal period. The hospital’s Chief Consultant said, “It’s hard to get a date for operation in the period before February, and also during mid-autumn festival and the winter holidays because these are the peak period where students are having school holidays and can afford the time for recovery from the procedures.”

Lee, a 19-year-old living in Gyeonggi-do , is also working at two jobs concurrently in cleaning and taking care of equipment in a sports centre, as well as serving customers and washing dishes in a western restaurant, just so that she could afford cosmetic surgery. Lee said, “My ex science classmates already had their eyes and noses done, some even reshaped their jaw bones for nicer jaw lines. Everybody around me is turning beautiful, I want to have the operations too.” With such intense peer pressure, these young Koreans felt the pressure to fit in and not get left out.

Korean Culture - Korean Plastic Surgery / Korean Cosmetic Surgery

Korean Culture - Korean Plastic Surgery / Korean Cosmetic Surgery

“I want to earn my own tuition fees” – Kim Chen Zhen, a Pre-U student working in a major supermarket after receiving his University acceptance letter.

Kim Cheng Zhen, an 18-year-old student, started working in a discount store since December last year after receiving his letter of acceptance into the Cultural Department of Sangji University. Everyday from 3pm to 12 midnight, he was moving heavy fruit cartons and arranging the stocks. Kim said, “I stay quite far away from here, so I have to rush for the last train home every night. Sometimes I feel that the tiredness taking a toll on me and I thought of quitting my job. However, I felt that working gives me a sense of responsibility and that is why I continue to work.

Pu Song’er, an 18-year-old girl who has been accepted into Asia University, started working as a shopkeeper in a bookstore for 9 hours everyday since October last year. Pu said, “I started working when I heard about the expensive tuition fees in University. I have three younger siblings and I don’t want to add on to my parents’ burden, so I’m now working hard and saving money.”

It is not only about making and saving money for some student; it is also to accumulate working experience that they can add into their resumes.

Yuan Zhong Zhen, an 18-year-old student residing in Gyeonggi-do has been accepted into Yonsei University’s management studies in December last year. Since then, he has been working in an Italian restaurant near his place. Every morning, he starts work at 10am and he will be cleaning the windows, mopping the floor and washing hundreds of dishes for the next 6 hours. He said, “My dream is to open my own restaurant or food & beverage company one day. The reason for choosing to work in a restaurant now is to learn the ropes in this business.”

Albamon, an employment website, conducted a survey with more than 900 pre-unversity students in November last year on the question, “What do you want to do most after being accepted into University?”, to which 43.7% of the males and 46.8% of the females responded with, “to find work”. Among them, 44.7% cited “Earn some pocket money” as their reason, while 22.5% chose “Earn some school fees”.