Marketers’ Manipulation of Customers

Seollal, or Lunar New Year, is soon approaching. Surely, this holiday is meant for distant families to finally meet and catch up while all huddled together around good food. However, this is also a holiday where the department store sales skyrocket with soaring sales of extravagant gift baskets. In weeks leading up to the holiday, marketers are making use of various effective tactics to deceive customers into purchasing their product.

When technology was not as accessible as it is now, marketing was done personally by gradually building relationships with them. The owner of a supermarket would have daily conversations with customers living across the street and have workaday conversations whenever they stopped by. However, in half a century, this all changed with the rise of technology. Now, marketing lost its once warm and friendly human touch. Instead, marketers are busy crunching numbers to find the best way to cleverly deceive their customers so that even the customers wouldn’t notice.

Here’s one. Human nature makes us to be more attached to products with emotional relevance. Marketers use this to increase their sales by artificially engineering personal connections with the customers. Sam Biddle, a writer for Gizmodo, summarizes this process in a five-part plan: approach, probe, present, listen, and end. Through this five-step process, marketers aim to make the customers think that their needs are being understood and empowered. As Biddle puts it, the key to mastering the process is to “[becoming] strong while appearing compassionate; persuade while seeming passive, and empathize your way to sale.”

Any marketing employees are expected masterfully execute this process, and the five-part plan’s touch is commonplace is any stores we walk in. Employees often approach the customers with a friendly smile, and product descriptions frequently use words such as “feel,” “felt,” or “found.” This is no coincidence. These words create a caring and compassionate image for the company as part of a company’s emotional engineering scheme. Ultimately, this image can help customers become more attached to the brand or product and ultimately increase marketing sales.

But, in the end, a marketers’ primary purpose is not to have empathy or establish real relationships; it is simply to find the most effective way to maximize their sales. These relationships would only be existent when it is beneficial for the marketers and fade as soon as the customer is not seen as valuable. Feigning false intimacy to the clients is just one way of establishing their goal.

Another tactic marketers use is blurring out customers’ ability to distinguish between their wants and their needs. Dr. David Lewis, the author of Secrets of Inspirational Selling explains that marketers “generate an emotional desire so powerful that… it has to be satisfied, no matter what the cost.”

One efficient way to turn a want into a need is through imposing scarcity. Off-White converse, which was sold for 45,000 dollars during Christmas last year, was a limited edition shoe that grabbed international attention. With only a thousand of them available in Korea, it immediately triggers the thought “I need that!” Because of this, this shoe was sold out. Such marketing tactics also cause an impulsive reaction that makes a customer to buy large amounts of the product. Marketers call this smart advertising. We call it manipulation.

There is no way to completely rid marketing from our modern society. It is an inevitable part of our economy and lifestyle. However, being aware of the methods marketers use to manipulate customers can prevent ourselves to get overwhelmed and make impulsive decisions. So next time when facing situations where you are putting everything you see in the shopping cart, stop and think once again. You might be caught in one of the marketers’ deception.

– Jenna Jang (22)

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Getting Ready for Winter Break

With finals just around the corner and December SATs over, you can soon finally take a breather from academics! But how do you spend the best winter break while your schedule is, unfortunately, packed with hagwons? With vibrant shopping scenes, iconic sightseeing, and extensive food culture, there is a limitless list of places to go. But, with limited time (and budget), where do you start?

  1. COEX Mall

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.01.12 PMLocated near Korea’s World Trade Center, COEX is loaded with both local and international chain stores, MEGABOX theatre, Starfield library, arcade, casino, and even an aquarium. You may have visited for MUN or mock trial events because there are huge convention and exhibition centers. COEX mall not only attracts its title as the largest shopping mall in the country but also the largest underground mall in Asia! COEX is serviced by Samseong Station on line 2 and Bongeunsa Station on line 9 of the Seoul Subway. Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.02.00 PM.png

The Don Quijote of Korea, they call it. “삐에로쑈핑” is the biggest miscellaneous store where you can browse through millions of products in one place. You can purchase unique–albeit useless–items that are very affordable.



2. Underground Shopping

Hiding below the streets of South Korea is the underground shopping malls. As this shopping lane in Korea is a growing culture that showcases a plethora of retailers in cosmetic, clothing, accessories, and more. This would be the best fit for you if you’re on a tight budget! The underground shopping area in Subway Line 2 Gangnam Station perhaps offers the most dynamic experience. You will be mesmerized by such culture. 

3. Garosu-gil

Latest fashion trends with chic boutiques, aesthetic cafes, and renowned restaurants are some aspects you can expect at Garosu-gil. Located along the promenade of the tree-lined road, Garosu-gil is one of the most attractive point-of-interest for Korean teenagers and young adults.

Must go to’s:Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.17.45 PM.pngScreen-Shot-2018-12-10-at-9.16.43-PM.png

  • C27
  • Dore Dore
  • The Alley
  • SikMulHak
  • Sona
  • Gentle Monster
  • Aland

4. Rodeo  (Apgujung)

Just a short walk away from Garosu-gil, the Rodeo street located in Apgujung is also a popular choice for many young adults. Across the main street, you can find Galleria department store, where you can afford designer labels.

5. MyeongDong Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.19.38 PM.png

You’ve probably already heard about MyeongDong as it is, undeniably, the most famous shopping area in Seoul. With a fusion of both Western and Eastern fashion style, MyeongDong provides mouth-watering street food, well-known shopping stores, and jaw-dropping street performances. Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.20.32 PM.png


  1. Myeongdong Kyoja
  2. Style Nanda Pink Hotel
  3. Street food

Evidently, South Korea is a heaven from shopping fanatics, so put some festivity in your weekends this winter with my guide to the best cafes and other points-of-interest around Seoul. Don’t just live through the mundane routine of going back and forth from hagwons studying for SATs and APs. Instead, feel the magic of holiday shopping with your family and friends! Enjoy!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Shutterstock


The Alternatives of Energy Drink

Energy drinks have always been our first choice when we’ve been stuck in an afternoon slump. Despite its effective impact, let’s consider some other choices that energizes us without killing ourselves with caffeine.

To many of us, energy drinks are our lifeblood. Whether it’d be to stay up all night in preparation for a test, or, in my case, to compensate for fatigue after a sporting event, I’ve always been an avid consumer of the Red Bull brand. I know the harmful effects of drinking energy drinks, but I just cannot go through the week without a can of Red Bull. Just for health reasons, I tried quitting for two weeks. But I couldn’t even last a week without a Redbull. From then, I realized the severity of my addiction for energy drinks.

Looking for ways to reduce my intake for Red bull, I tried out other drinks in order to forget my addiction to energy drinks. So, here are some of the drinks/food that I have tried in order to reduce my dosage of caffeine.



A cup of pure black coffee can be the starting step of quitting Red Bull. Coffee is considered as the Red Bull in the morning due to its high dosage of caffeine When comparing to a can of Red Bull, 250ml of coffee consists of 80 milligrams of caffeine; however, coffee does not have sugar or other dangerous chemicals such as Inositol (a chemical that boosts the mood of the brain). Therefore, coffee can easily become a healthy choice for avid Red Bull drinkers. Personally, I don’t prefer coffee because of its sharp taste (mainly Americano). Furthermore, softer coffee drinks such as Caramel Macchiato or Hazelnut latte doesn’t give me enough boost as it was only sugary. (Instant coffee has the least amount of caffeine while Brewed Coffee and Espresso has the most).

Protein Shakes:


Inside Red bull, there are  100 milligrams of Taurine which is an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant, stimulating the muscles to offer better performances (to simply put it, Taurine gives you protein). There are no current research on the effects of Taurine, but the Food and Drug Administration concluded that there were no negative effects of Taurine from the death of caffeine overdose. In order to find a similar function as Taurine in Red Bull, Protein shakes seem to do the job. Many athletes drink protein shakes or water with amino acid powder in order to supplement their protein levels and rehabilitate their muscles. Therefore, if you drink energy drinks after a fatiguing sports practice, protein shakes can be an excellent replacement. I usually drink protein shakes after a sport rather than a need for caffeine during studying.

Green & Black Tea:


About 250 mL of green tea consists of 40 milligrams of caffeine which is half the amount of Red Bull. Although tea may a hard alternative to replace Red Bull, theoretically, if you drink 500 mL of green tea, you will have the similar boosting effects. Green teas are natural antioxidants that reduce the formation of cells aging and increases dopamine which has anti-anxiety effects. Rather than the jittery feeling of Red Bull, Green tea calms your mind down while improving brain function and cognitive ability. Despite its proven benefits, I personally do not prefer tea because of its weak taste. Many people around have recommended tea, but I just couldn’t replace red bull with green tea.

Pepsi/Coca cola:


Despite its massive sugar intake, Coca Cola and Pepsi consists of 30-40 milligrams of caffeine which can be a better alternative than Red Bull for energy.  I have seen people addicted to Coca Cola but truthfully, its effect is less harmful than of Red Bulls. However, for healthy purposes, carbonated drinks with less sugar will be preferred as the dosage of caffeine is similar to the original drinks.

Caffeine Gums (Run Gums, GU Energy Chews):

Source:Trend Hunter

Sometimes drinking Red Bull can be too much with its large sugar intake; therefore, with similar caffeine levels, caffeinated gums seem to be the perfect replacement of energy drinks although it is hard to reduce its intake of caffeine. Although it is not common to see in Korean convenience stores, you can easily order it from the Internet. Due to its small dose of sugar, the caffeine gum tends to have a bitter taste as soon as the sweetness is dissolved. Often times, caffeine gums can be the perfect replacement for Red Bull. I have only tried this once, and my expectations lived up as it had the similar effects of Red Bull. Personally, I strongly suggest this in order to avoid the massive sugar intake. However, after few minutes of intensive chewing, I easily lost the sugary taste.

Ultimately, will these alternatives stop me from chugging a Red Bull almost every day? Probably not. But at the same time, I think that addressing the health risks, and knowing what I’m putting into my body is an important lesson. These alternatives can at least be a help to reduce my Red Bull addiction. For now, I’ll have to perpetuate the trope of Korean high school students with mild caffeine addictions.

Featured Image:

-Mark Park (’20)

Live a Better Life: Tips for Mindfulness

Does life feel like a constant cycle of stress that ends in a meaningless void? Do you find yourself drudging through each day? Read about small changes you can make to turn your life philosophy around.

As the second semester speeds up to a full sprint, the cogs and gears of KIS begin to rotate at a blinding pace, sending students into overdrive. Every person you encounter in the halls look ready to rant about each of their weeks- nerves heighten, hearts grow sensitive, and conversations turn one notch negative. And when complaints abound, it becomes easy to get caught up in the whirlwind until all you want is to give up.

But what if there was a way to be a bit more content? Be calm amidst the raging storm? It may sound like an odd “zen” concept, but mindfulness could be the key. Mindfulness often has the specific definition of taking deep breaths, paying attention and being focused in the moment, but I like to give it a broader meaning. Mindfulness is about constantly thinking and reflecting, knowing who you are and where you’re going, and situating your life within the vast machinery of the world. Life is too important to let slip by caught up in emotional baggage the entire time, without ever truly thinking about it. If you’re struggling to make sense of all that, read on for 7 practical tips on how to go about this journey.


We hate the word “journal” because it evokes the dreary middle school English assignment. But journaling can be surprisingly liberating. This is an activity that is solely for yourself- so there are no rules, no guidelines. In fact, you don’t even need to journal about what happened that day. It’s more about giving your mind a pure moment to take care of what it wants to say. Turn your devices off for twenty minutes, take a pen and a notebook, and see where your thoughts take you.

This can, first and foremost, be an emotional outlet. We are so used to our mental clutter that we decide to live with it, but letting yourself empty your mind can help relieve your stress. Journaling also lets you connect with yourself. What do you fear? What makes you happy? What do you want out of life? These are all important questions we brush away because they are such a long distance from the daily tasks we are trained to prioritize, but certainly ones we should not be ignoring.


We all have things we enjoy doing and subjects we find interesting. But these are not always offered as a part of our school day. Students often complain about how they want to spend time learning something they want to learn but are caught up in schoolwork instead. It’s important to realize that self-development is always an option.

When’s the last time you read a book just because you wanted to? Or researched a topic just because you were curious about it? What about that hobby you abandoned ages ago just because you didn’t see it becoming a future career- a musical instrument, a DIY project, a painting? Let’s be honest- we all have some time in the day to spare, and we all have the choice to spend it on self-development instead of wasting it away.


The very concept probably feels very detached, like something you would never try doing. But just like training your body to learn a new sport, you can train your mind to learn a new skill- meditation. There’s a reason why people who commit themselves to learning how to meditate call it a life-changing experience. You’d be surprised at how many sources are available to you online, with plenty of beginner’s guidelines and videos. Take some time to find what’s right for you, and you may find yourself embarking on a journey that pulls you from the obligatory cyclical flow of school into your own flow. The best part is, this can take as little of your time as you wish for it to- just 10 minutes a day can make a difference.

If you’re still hesitant to try formal meditation, everyday mindfulness can help, too. As you move through different parts of your day, try taking a few moments to look around and notice what you’re doing and where you are. Notice your own breathing and the things you see, hear, and smell. In all that time you spend either zoned out or mindlessly buried in a task, give yourself a few seconds in between to be aware of yourself. Notice that you’re part of something bigger- realize the awe of nature or the vast force of humanity that consists of people like you.


You’ve probably already heard about the benefits of gratitude. It’s one of the best-researched factors that correlate to happiness. It has been scientifically proven that letting yourself be grateful leads to better mental and physical health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression, and allows for a more satisfying work and social life.

Take some time out of your day to think about what you’re grateful for- one recommended method is to jot down 3 items every night before sleep. These may include some lucky circumstances that fell upon you today, the people around you that you often don’t fully appreciate, or even something you were born with in your life. Trust what’s been proven- subconsciously, your mind will focus less on toxic emotions such as envy, frustration, resentment, or regret.


We all find support in those around us, and we all appreciate our friends and family enough to leave them a message on their birthday or congratulate their latest achievement. But with a lifestyle so busy, sometimes we need to consciously remind ourselves of how much those people mean to us. Where would you be without the people around you? How many times have you felt that someone really cares for you, and how did that change your passing mood? When you sit down to join your friends at lunch after two long morning classes, how quickly are you able to forget your troubles and anxieties?

You have the power to change someone’s day- a random act of kindness doesn’t need to wait until KISRAK week. Just a smile and a word of kindness that replaces an eye roll and a “I have so much homework to do” can brighten someone’s day. In the end, you’ll find yourself becoming a happier person by turning the interactions in your life one notch positive. Connect with someone. Have a conversation that doesn’t consist of individual rants or business-related matter.


The way you live your life is a choice. Remind yourself of all the things you could be taking control of. You can harness the mindless minutes you idle away on the bus or while brushing your teeth, and take that time to think about something. You can spend your high school career only doing what’s asked of you, or you can do something completely for yourself. You have the choice to spend time with people that lift you up and cut away the people that you know always drag you down. You can take the steering wheel.


But often, when you take the steering wheel but realize you cannot change what car you’re driving or what the road is made of, you’ll find that the most helpful thing to do is to let go of what you can’t control. Someone out there won’t appreciate you. One of your teachers will refuse to understand you. Sometime in your life, you’ll face unfair discrimination for something. Recognize that everything, in the end, is because humans are fallible- just like you are. You can’t control everything.

So the next time you find yourself struggling with a problem or unleashing a bout of hate and frustration, hit the pause button and consider if the conflict is something you can control. If it isn’t, know how much easier it is to let go. Sift through and spot the things that you can change. By letting go of things you can’t do anything about, you may be surprised at how much power you find resting in your hands.


Personally, even the process of writing this article has made me realize how many changes I can make in my life to be a bit more mindful, and how much I’ve let my workload drag my character down. We all need to take a breath and give our tired minds a massage. It would be such a shame to ignore the shifting complexities of our lives and identities- all the beauty that exists for us to feel.

-Jisoo Hope Yoon (’19)

Cover image and list headers designed by Crescentia Jung (’19)

AP Reassurance

Are you worried about your future APs? Find out how your upperlassmen think about their current AP classes!!

Dear suffermores and potential freshmen,

Throughout middle school and the start of high school, we’ve always feared this year. The year where sleep is no longer in our definition and the overflowing stress eats us alive: junior year aka hell year. Yet, we also get a lot more freedom in choosing our courses allowing us to somewhat appreciate our junior year. The problem with this freedom is that selecting our own courses gives us both anxiety and independence. As the first month of 2017 comes to an end, it’s also time to turn in our course registration form. You’re a struggling suffermore and after a long hard thought of what AP courses you want to take, you confidently turn in your course form. But even with that, you still have a feeling of concern in the APs you chose? BUT don’t worry about a thing! Here are some amazing words of consultation from your lovely upperclassmen for you and your AP course registration.


Although it is known to be one of the easier APs, you shouldn’t underestimate an AP course. AP Envi has an average AP score of 2.59! But keep in mind that this is the average score in the US. You only need a 75% in order to get a 5.

You get to know more about Korea and what is going on in the world. It is an interesting class as we get to figure out how the earth is formed and how it functions. Not only do we go in depth about the earth, but we also examine the living organisms in certain areas.ith it being a visualizing class, the course allows what you learn to be embedded into your head quite well. In this class, my favorite part is it’s hands on activity such as looking through microscopes and going on school trips. AP Environmental Science isn’t my favorite course, but it is still a course where I get a lot of information. And I’m growing to love it!

-Paul Song (’18)

Unlike most other AP classes, AP Environmental Science is a course that requires a lot of hands-on work. For example, during our water unit, we visited the Tancheon River to collect samples that we used to analyse the quality of the water. One aspect of the class that I really appreciate is that Mr. Taylor helps us understand how the concepts we learn in class are applicable to the real world. This allows us to be aware that these environmental problems are relevant and very much prevalent in our society, which makes it easier to truly understand these concepts. Mr. Taylor’s very passionate about this subject, and he would do anything to further your interests and passions in this area, so I would advise those interested in taking this class to approach him and ask him for help if you want to advance your knowledge in environmental science (especially if it’s something of your personal interest!)

-Sally Hong (’18)

4There had to be two teachers for AP Lang this year because so many students signed up.

AP Lang is  a class that destroys your self esteem, but as you overcome those obstacles, it shapes you to become a better writer.


As much as it is an English class, AP Language is an opportunity to truly get to know yourself. You’re given chances to reflect on who you are through projects such as the MGP. Now it’s your choice whether you take these risks or not, but if you do, I can assure you that AP Lang will be a very memorable and valuable class.

– Samantha Kim (18’)

7 AP Capstone is one of the newer courses as it was introduced to KIS last year. Every Capstone student always emphasizes the usefulness of the class in everyday life and other classes.

More than a class, AP Capstone Seminar is better described as a platform for your passions. We are given a lot of freedom in choosing what we want to research and what approach we want to take– something that is specific to this class and a part of the class that I really value and appreciate. If I were to give a few tips to students that are interested in taking this class next year, I’d tell them not to feel restricted about what they can research on. There are so many options you can explore that it’s a waste to write a paper on something you’re not interested in.

-Sally Hong (’18)

5We do about 5 labs during the first semester and it helps the students visualize concepts learned in class as they are directly related. 

AP Chem is a class where there are a lot of formulas, and a lot of labs are done. Throughout this course, it’s very important to ask Dr. Cuthbertson (the chem teacher) a lot of questions if a concept isn’t understood because the pace in  class is very fast. Not to mention, the regular Chemistry subject really helped, so listen to Mr. Joo and Mr. Taylor! Don’t just memorize the math formula but also try to understand how the process works.

-Michelle Kwon ’18

unnamedThis course also incorporates biology at the beginning. There are always new ways to learn in this class such as games.

AP Psychology changed me, changed my life, and changed the way I see the world. Ms. Hawkinson is the most wonderful teacher I’ve ever met, and I promise you, she is there to help you in both academic and non curricular aspects. READ, follow her instructions, have a positive mindset, and you’re good to go! 🙂 (Remember that you have upperclassmen like cough, me Sara Kim, cough who are more than willing to help you out!)

-Sara Kim (’18)

I really enjoyed the course and definitely recommend it if you like learning about people and why we behave the way we do. It’s a very interesting class that isn’t only based on textbook reading and tests, but has a lot of projects and in class activities to enhance your learning, so if you’re into “hands on” learning this is the class for you. For tips I’d just say don’t fall behind with the readings; their assigned for a reason, so that by the end of the year or each unit you won’t have to study that much for the test, since you’ve already been learning cumulatively throughout the course. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself through this course!

-Juliet Miinalainen (’17)

6There’s an extra credit project every year where you make a music video about an Economy concept! It’s really enjoyable and who doesn’t want extra credit?

It’s not a basic core subject but expands on how you think. It won’t be a easy course for those who can’t change their perspective and strategies on how you think, but it makes you think more practically. Econ has seriously changed me as a person.

-Elizabeth Lee (‘18)

AP Econ may seem easy for students at first, and it may stay that way for some, but it may also turn into a very challenging course, so you need to study and actively listen to the lectures if you want to do well in class.  You guys have a new teacher next year so I don’t know how different or similar things will be. Graphs seem really complicated at first, but it gets easier. But for some people the graphs will stay complicated. Econ’s not math or science of anything like that so don’t think like that.

-San Yun (18’)

1Every single class usually opens with content questions where discussions are held about the reading from the previous night.

It’s a very self driven class with every class opening with “content questions” which are obtained from the reading homework we have each class. In this class, you’re independent and have to make sure you read every single night or you get lost. This is because we usually write APUSH style essays related to homework from the night before and etc. Even if you’re not a history person, it is very interesting to learn the different aspects of what happened through America over the years, especially since Trump became president this year.

– Anon

APUSH is a course where you have to stay on top of things. You have to stay on course with your reading, and it’s very helpful if you read a little ahead. AMSCO is also a book you should consider buying as it gives short concise summaries of the chapters, although it is good to read the textbook for more specific details. This course isn’t just about memorizing facts, so this course is suitable for the history lovers.

– Michelle Kwon (’18)

The letters AP sound quite alarming and intimidating, but there’s a lot more to them than the GPA. Strive for the courses you truly have interest in! Enjoy your classes and have fun. And most importantly, if you have questions, ask them!!! Feel free to reach out to the upperclassmen for some words of wisdom anytime and anywhere. 🙂 *we aren’t as scary as we look*


Your upperclassmen

– Tae-Young Uhm (’18)

The Science Behind Procrastination

Project due next week, and that temptation of another youtube video. Why do we procrastinate? How can we fix this?

Are you anxious about your early applications to your dream college? Maybe there is a new summative coming up. How far are you with the English reading? Please don’t tell me you’re still on chapter one. In the midst of this cataclysm, some of you might be organizing directories on your mac, trying out a new item build on online games, or just catching up with your newsfeed on facebook.

The scariest part about procrastination is not only that it might compromise the quality of your end products(School work and etc.) but also that it can happen to almost everyone. Even the most productive of us have fallen into the trap of temptation, delaying precious sleep for the next morning. Naturally, self evaluation follows.

Now, try not to be too hard on yourself. Procrastination is a spontaneous course of action – your brain’s automatic defense mechanism to your stress.  Hear out this guy:

“Psychologists see procrastination as a misplaced coping mechanism, as an emotion-focused coping strategy. [People who procrastinate are] using avoidance to cope with emotions, and many of them are non-conscious emotions. So we see it as giving in to feel good. And it’s related to a lack of self-regulation skills. … We all have a six-year-old running the ship. And the six-year-old is saying, ‘I don’t want to! I don’t feel like it!'” (Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada)

Based on his claims, we are repelling important work because we simply DO NOT want to work. On the other hand, there are different interpretations of procrastination.

According to a study published by Edward Jones (New York Times obituary) & Steven Berglas, procrastination is a type of self-handicapping to build an excuse for your poor performance.

“By finding or creating impediments that make good performance less likely, the strategist nicely protects his [or her] sense of self-competence” (pg 201).

“I had only two hours to finish this project. But, this does not prove my failure as a practical learner since I had a huge disadvantage!” This kind of attitude wins whether you succeed or fail. When you lose, your sense of competence is secured since you can externalize the blames on your procrastinating behavior. Of course, if you succeed, you can boost your self-confidence at enormous rate, because you have achieved something even when you were not in optimal condition.

A TED Talk from a famous blogger, Tim Urban makes a great explanation of the mechanism behind procrastinator’s brain.

Fortunately, however, procrastination is not a disease nor a condition. It is simply a habit that affects productivity. There are good ways to fight your demon.

  1. Accept that you have a problem. procrast2.jpgEvery first step to solving a problem is to recognize the existence of it. It might be hard but if you postpone your workload on a regular basis, you should start asking yourself if you are a procrastinator.
  2. Divide up the work and give yourself small rewards for doing each segment of it. proctast1.jpgBecause it is the motivation to do work that procrastinators are not good at gathering up, it is important to make big projects into less intimidating objectives. If ‘instant gratification’ is the reason behind indulging into digression, instant rewards for completion of work would be helpful to continue your overall progression. For example, you can divide your five paragraph essay assignment into five parts and give yourself 10 minutes of internet browsing for finishing each.
  3. Thing about the long-run consequences. procrast3.jpgThe danger of procrastination is not only the diminished quality of your work but also the sense of anxiety that comes along with the deadline. So, it is effective to raise alertness towards the negative consequences, which might hopefully raise the productive part of your brain from dead. In fact, these consequences are more or less real. Late submissions could lead to a failed grade (it is especially strict in KIS), and even expulsion if we are talking about an actual job.

This is not an easy battle. Plus, the devil can always crawl back under your skin without a polite notice. Of course, nobody is at fault if the work is just too much for you. When you are told to tame a dragon, wouldn’t most people run away instead? True, the dragon is a hard beast to tame. However, imagine how majestic it will be if you push yourself just a bit more.

– Paul Jeon (‘17)

(Featured images from,,, and in order)

What to Do the Day Before the SAT

Just in a week… the long-awaited October SAT presents itself to students. Are you afraid? Well, fear not. Blueprint’s got you covered with some best tips that will boost up your scores last minute.

September is coming to an end. Two months into school, right when we finally seem to be adjusting to school, the deathly of the deathly is approaching. Yes, you guessed it right. The October SAT. Every year, the three letter haunts students down. Are YOU the victim of this doom? Well, fear not. Although last minute studying will DEFINITELY not help you out (don’t even try), here are some suggestions as to what you could do the day before the SAT to boost up the score with the little hope you have.

  1. Dress comfortably.

As soon as you come back from school, get comfy. The last thing you’re worried about at the moment is how you look. Get into the most comfortable position, comfortable outfit, and comfortable state. Who cares if you look like a zombie. Now is the time for you to pull off that score you so desperately wanted.

  1. Eat dinner.

Well, you might think now. Why does dinner even matter? Don’t I just have to eat my breakfast on the day of the SAT? No. Eating dinner now will not only keep you at a healthful state, but your brain will also be kept alert from the nutrition you take in the night before. Make sure to eat healthy, too.  It is important that you keep a good balance of vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein.  An idea dinner would perhaps look like broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and beef. After all, nutritious food is where your brain and body will get their power source from!

  1. Review.

Yes, review. Don’t even bother learning the new stuff now. Trust me; by the time you enter the testing center, your mind will go blank with the materials you learned afresh. Let’s stick with what we know, and make the best out of it. Believe it or not, reviewing is the key to success. As long as you are able to correctly answer the materials you learned so far, you will be fine.

  1. Don’t panic.

Okay, I know. It’s hard not to panic, especially if this is your first SAT. Well, if you panic, things are going to get worse. Panicking now will get you nowhere. It will only keep you going in a deathly circle of cries and worries. We have a lot to review. There’s no time for panic.

  1. Sleep early.

This is perhaps the most important out of the five tips. No caffeine allowed the night before the SAT. Maybe in the morning, but definitely not the night before. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nocturnal person. Too bad. The College Board decided to have test on the morning, so as of now, you will have to adjust your body system according to what the College Board scheduled for you. At the latest, get to bed by 10 PM and make sure you get a healthy 8 hours of sleep. This way, you will not feel sleep-deprived, sick, or tired.

Juniors, seniors, and to whomever this may concern:

SAT does not define you as a person, nor does it define your whole high school career. Great, if you manage to pull out the perfect score you aimed for. But, don’t worry if you aren’t able to. Let’s at least get the best out of it. We are now a week into the SAT, and that means doomsday for all of you. Let’s not panic, and try to stick to these amazing tips that will give you the best score you could get!

– Eunica Na (’17)

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What do you do when your gf/bf cheats on you?

(c. Tumblr)

What do you do when your gf/bf cheats on you?

LcKjazKca: Your world has come crashing down. The emotional rug has been pulled out from underneath you, without closure. Finding out that your significant other hasn’t thought of you as significant as you have, is probably the worst feeling ever. The trust, memories and affection that’s been built up over the time now means nothing.

But before jumping to any irrational conclusions, first figure out if he/she really cheated or not. Get clear confirmation through mutual friends. When the cruel but inevitable news becomes truth, well, it’s time to end the relationship. It’s time to breakup.

Over the course of your relationship, many of your small, daily habits would have his/her scent left on them. The good morning texts that woke you up every morning, small walks together down the hallway between classes, and the weekend strolls you took together through the city are now all missing. So try to fill up these gaps with new hobbies, and new people! Learn how to cook. Hit the gym. Say hi to that one person you always see in class, but never struck up a conversation with. It’s easier said than done, of course, but it gets better everyday.

Keep in mind, a relationship doesn’t end when you keep grudges, jealousies, or regrets towards your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. Negative emotions are still emotions. A relationship ends when indifference is the only emotion you have towards him/her.


Here are three important points to remember in the process of a breakup.

  1. No contact!

Try to cut all connections that you had with your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. Unfollow/block them on social media, get rid of mementos of your relationship, and avoid opportunities to meet him/her. This will give you some time and space to reconsider things that happen in your relationship, and ultimately yourself.

  1. Realize that you’re not alone

Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you. Family members and friends are always there to support you and love you. Spend more time with these people to keep your mind off of your ex.

  1. Stop putting him/her on the pedestal

Acknowledge that he/she wasn’t perfect for you. This step is to avoid delving into regrets and “what if’s”. Start highlighting your own attributes to realize the things you did to make the relationship work out!


Last of all, don’t forget that the fact that your significant other cheated on you is NEVER a bad reflection of you. Relationships are always mutual. It was his/her decision to put behind everything you two had together, and walk out. The pain of betrayal you’re feeling right now shows that you’re a person who can prioritize another person before yourself. It shows how much you care.

Things will get better! So breathe deeply. You are worthy of love and you will one day be happy and fulfilled again. You were whole before; and you can be whole again. You’re an amazing person, so keep your head high up, and look ahead.

tumblr_inline_n3rg12VVbE1riwpmj: As much as it’s difficult to think rationally in such situations, it’s important to understand that what you consider to be cheating might not actually be cheating.

Were you two in an exclusive relationship? Maybe it was just a one-sided affection?

If you’re blaming your boyfriend/girlfriend for cheating after discovering a frivolous Kakaotalk notification or an unproven rumor, close this article, sort it out with your partner, and learn to become more accepting in a relationship. Don’t blind yourself with jealousy and over-assumptions.

If you two were truly committed to each other and proof does arise that your partner did indeed cheat on you, well, that’s when you should read the rest of this column.

You don’t do much when your beloved really does cheat on you. You only forgive and forget. Someone who cheats once is likely to cheat again, and unless you’re willing to withstand his/her affairs numerous more times, it’s time to cut him/her off. Feelings of betrayal and shock at how trivial your relationship was will probably drown you in despondency. But know that it’s a matter of time before you mend and erase your cheating ex from not only your mind, but also from your heart. Why waste your energy dragging back home a dump of garbage when it’s conveniently walked out the door for you? Don’t say your goodbyes through a cordial text message or phone call, but meet face-to-face. Hear what he or she also has to say, and make sure you properly articulate everything that you need to address, from why you’re ending the relationship and what he or she has done wrong.

But if you’re still hopeful and eager to give your boyfriend or girlfriend another chance, the first thing to do would be to have a private conversation. Maybe you two can decide on taking a break, which enables some couples to get back together to a more durable relationship… slightly unlikely though. However, the time-out will be a good opportunity for you to wonder if you really should give your boyfriend or girlfriend another chance.

In both cases though, make sure you don’t become the same foul person that your companion decided to become. Don’t go around spreading rumors or talking badly about them, because at the end, the two of you shared memories that will be remember whether you like it or not. Others will too. Don’t you want your partner, or ex-partner, to be well-respected, since at the end, he or she also partially determines your value? Just some things to consider…

– The Blueprint Advice Team

*If you have any questions about friends, relationships, life, or just anything, email us at and we’ll answer them in the next column!

Header: Imgkid

What do you do when you like a friend as more than a friend?

“Nah, he’s/she’s just a friend…”


(c. Jamine Kang ’16)

What do you do when you like your friend as more than a friend?


Notes on someone more than a friend

You’ve been friends with him/her for who knows how long. The two of you know each other deeply, and both acknowledge the depth of your relationship. But she looks different today. Is it her hair? Nah, it’s the same as before. Did she get new clothes? New makeup maybe? You continue to make vain attempts to point out something that is making her look different.

Well, maybe it isn’t her. Maybe it’s you who changed after all. You’re feeling something more towards her.

It sucks to be stuck between zero and one, between “just friends” and something more. It’s quite a confusing feeling, as your relationship has just now entered a grey area. When you’re in this dilemma, note that you must tread carefully. Before anything, try to get a good grasp on your own feelings first. Give yourself some time to reconsider your relationship with him/her, and understand your own thoughts. Do you really need to turn your friendship into romance? What would be the consequences of doing so? How would he/she react? Do I really like him/her? Make sure that it’s really love and affection, not a small crush that lasts only a few days.

The important thing is to figure out what is more important: your feelings or your friendship. When you try to further your relationship into a romantic interest, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be no going back into a comfortable friendship. When the romantic relationship doesn’t necessarily work out the way you wanted to, the friendship will also be lost, and may just be plain awkward. Be aware of these potential consequences.

But if he/she is really worth giving a shot at, if revealing your feelings is more important than hiding them, begin by trying to be conscious of his/her words, body language, and attitude when you’re with him/her. Test the waters by starting to try out things you two haven’t done before, and spend more time together.

If it feels it’s the right time, meet him/her face to face to tell him/her how you’ve felt all along. If your friend returns your feelings, well, congratulations! But even if your friend doesn’t feel the same way you do, you know that you’ve been truthful to yourself, and both of you now know how each other feels.

Your friend must be an amazing person if you’re feeling that way to him/her. But always remember that before anything, it’s you who must be happy. Make the decision that will make you feel genuine to yourself.

Best of luck.

tumblr_inline_n3rg12VVbE1riwpmj: So, I’m going to assume that you’re falling for your friend and you don’t know what to do. It isn’t a rare phenomenon, developing greater feelings for your friend. The more you spend time with your friend, and the more you disclose personal information to your friend, the more likely one of you two is going to perceive one another as more than a friend.

But to be completely honest, I think it’s a terrible idea to chase after your friend. If chemistry sparks between you two and things begin to take a step further, the “what if’s” will dominate your relationship before you know it. And keep in mind that when the relationship works out, but eventually comes to an end, it won’t be the only thing that breaks apart – your friendship will also be on the line. Of course, a myriad of factors can bring about different results. I’m just throwing out a possibility here.

Yet, don’t we all make disastrous decisions once in a while? The “what if’s” exist to falter hopes, but the ‘maybes’ will foster your imagination and urge you to aim a goal at your friend. As risky as it is, giving it a go will keep you from having regrets in the future. If you can’t stand remaining as awkward friends, give it a go.


First, start by observing your friend a bit closer. See if he or she is also sharing the same feelings as you are. Flirt around a bit; it won’t hurt. Meet more regularly, spend time doing activities that you guys usually didn’t do. Make memories, experiences that both of you won’t be able to forget.

If your friend’s on the same page as you and cherishes you the same way, there’s no need for further advice. On the other hand, though, if you aren’t getting the same vibes, it’s time to maintain what you’ve got. Rather than aiming high and losing everything (aka your friendship), it would be a more comfortable ordeal for not only your friend, but also for yourself, to accept your friend as just a friend.

 Don’t worry about how awkward it’ll be after you chase after your friend. Give it your best shot, but restrain yourself from overdoing anything. In the end, I’m pretty certain that you won’t have any regrets about giving your friend a go. At least you would be able to determine where you two will stand in the future – probably one that’s stable and includes both of you.

For now, try to look at your situation from the bigger view and weigh the pros and cons. Whatever I ramble on about is merely advice. You make the final decision.

– The Blueprint Advice Team

*If you have any questions about friends, relationships, life, or just anything, email us at and we’ll answer them in the next column!

Header: Jamine Kang (’16)

What do you do when you catch your friend back talking about you?

“I hate the way she talks like a brat.”
“Why does she only hang out with guys?”

…And the vicious remarks go on and on …and on.

la foto

What do you do when you catch your friend back talking about you?

LcKjazKca: Ouch. This one hurts a lot. Finding out a friend spreading rumors or secrets about you is probably one of the worst feelings ever. It’s horrible to catch someone you trusted being toxic. It sucks because you can’t look at them the way you did before. You can’t tell if their smiles, gestures, and eyes are really the ones that you used to know. You can’t look back into past conversations and times you spent with him/her without painful doubt.

Then you ask yourself, “When did all this even start?”

As difficult as it sounds, begin by trying not to assume anything. Don’t let yourself jump to conclusions, starting the never ending cycle of overthinking. Who knows? There really might be something that you’ve been doing wrong. Your friend’s words, although not directed at you, can be an opportunity for you to set things in perspective.

If you think the relationship between you and your friend is worth more than the risks and the uncomfortable hiccups of confrontation, openly and honestly talk to him/her about it. If he/she is a genuine friend of yours, he/she will respond well. Try finding a time and place where you can talk to your friend privately.

When you do meet up with the friend, make sure to use lots of “I” statements to directly show your own feelings, without beating around the bush. For example: “I feel uncomfortable when you _______.” “I was sad when I heard you _______.”

Talk things out rationally and maturely to find the roots of the problem. Both of you need to clearly communicate what one other thought and felt from this incident.

But at the end of the day, it’s you who decides whether the friendship continues or not. Was it a simple misunderstanding? Did he/she apologize genuinely? Was it his/her first offense? Balance out self-respect and care for your friend in making the final call to your relationship. Remember that you have to be the one happy with this decision!

The closer a friend is to you, well, he/she is in a better position to hurt you. So don’t forget what it means for your friend when he/she opens up vulnerabilities and insecurities to you. You’re someone special to that person.

tumblr_inline_n3rg12VVbE1riwpmj: Personally, I went through this one way too often. The two typical scenarios I found myself with were 1) catching my friend casually discussing my flaws and 2) catching my friend straight out spreading rumors and labeling me. Now, what you should do varies immensely depending on which scenario you’re facing.

Case 1. Backtalks

“I hate the way she talks like a brat.”

“Why does she only hang out with guys?”

…And the vicious remarks go on and on …and on. The casual flaws that my friends slurred around hurt more than any other unreasonable rumors or swears I heard. It was a more direct stab in the back. You may ask, why would they go behind my back to complain about my personality, my lifestyle, or even my physical appearance, when they could simply confront me face to face?

See, their lack of courage to discuss this in person is the reason why you shouldn’t react the same way they did. Instead, gather your valiant guts and talk to them. If you don’t have the courage to confront them face to face, give them a call or text them if you must.

As much as you’re angry, try not to be the aggressive one. Ask them if you’ve been bothering them in any way and listen to what they have to say. Honestly, what your friend was speaking about without you knowing might have been a legitimate flaw, a quality that you can fix or improve on. Accept it and react maturely. But tell the good friend of yours that next time, he or she should direct the hurtful remarks to you and not to anyone else.

Case 2. Rumors

“Did you know that she ____.”

“Oh my goodness, she’s such a *****.”

…And the rumors spread, and I became a packaged, labeled product by the moment. Honestly, it’s unacceptable for friends to back talk or spread rumors in any way. The most ideal way to react to this one would be to pretend like you haven’t heard anything. Ignore and forget. But also ignore and forget your friend. He or she’s not a friend once they have went behind your back to judge and wreck you.

Most probably, if you continue to ignore the rumors and take care of yourself, get your things done, and keep high standards, the rumors will subside. If you really didn’t do anything wrong, you have no reason to remain conscious about what your friend chattered about.

Eventually, your friend might come up to you and ask, “Why aren’t we hanging out these days? What’s up?” or something of that sort. Then, you have every right to say, “You probably know the reason more than I do.”

But before making any hurried decisions, consider how much your friend meant to you, whether or not the rumors are true or your friend actually spread the rumors in the first place, if your friendship can carry on even after this incident, and how your friend will regain your trust. My point: be rational and keep your cool.

Best of luck.

– The Blueprint Advice Team

*If you have any questions about friends, relationships, life, or just anything, email us at and we’ll answer them in the next column!

Header: Irene Jung (’16)