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OH PROJECT HOW TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS


CREATIVE DIRECTOR

GOD ALMIGHTY

DIRECTOR DESIGNER AND IILLUSTRATOR

YOUSUN MIN YOUSUN MIN

VIDEOGRAPHER MOTIONOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHER

JUWAN LIM YOUSUN MIN JUNGMIN KIM, MOONSUB SHIN

INSTRUCTOR

KEN MEIER

© COPYRIGHT 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY YOUSUN MIN THESIS PROJECT 2012, PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN WWW.YOUSUNSTORY.COM


OH PROJECT HOW TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS


CONTENTS HOW TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS

PREFACE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

10 12

DEFINITION ABOUT HOMESICKNESS

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SURVEYS ABOUT HOMESICKNESS

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20WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS

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JULY 17, 2009, 5:10PM Bringing my dreams, I arrived at JFK International Airport in New York City. Even though I don’t have family and friends in NY and I am afraid of living alone, my heart has become hotter and hotter.. because of my dreams... OMG! Here is New York! Yea! Written By YOUSUN MIN

HELLO NY!


PREFACE

FROM EVERYWHERE TO NEW YORK Today, many students are away from their families and come to New York City to study and improve their career opportunities. Working or studying in a foreign country or away from hometown can be an exciting experience, but after several months of leaving home, people can easily become homesick. Homesickness can be associated with feelings of nostalgia, grief, depression and adjustment disorders, all of which can affect people psychologically and emotionally. In creating OH PROJECT: How To Overcome Homesickness, I would like to encourage young people and let people know how to overcome homesickness based on a survey and other people’s experiences and ideas. I would not only like to print OH book, but to make the digital book easy to download on the smart phone or i-pad. OH book will represent three chapters: what homesickness means, survey about OH PROJECT, and 20 ways to overcome homesickness. I hope it will help young students to overcome homesickness and encourage their dreams. Director and Designer YOUSUN MIN

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

THANKS TO EVERYONE I am heartily thankful to my thesis professor, Ken Meier, whose encouragement, guidance, and support helped develop my thesis project and make it a success. Also, I would like to say thanks to videographer Juwan Lim, photographer Jungmin Kim and Moonsub Shin. I had a great time meeting and doing interviews for the project together. Additionally, my classmates gave me good advice every time. I really appreciate you guys’ help. In September 2011, I started the OH Project through monkey survey. I would like to thank everyone who participated in my survey. Through this investigation, I found very interesting solutions to overcome homesickness. Also, I really appreciate the amazing mentors who participated in interviews for my thesis project: Jason Heuer, Cinthya Urasaki, Sangeetha Kowsik, Inhyun Ryu, Timo Rissanen, Ben Ho, and Francesco Spampinato, thanks for giving amazing advice. I have no doubt that your advice will encourage many young students to pursue their dreams. I also want to say thanks to my lovely friends; Sunyoung Park, Juwan Lim, Soomin Lee, Jeeyeon Amy Han, Claire Shin, Chelsea Suh, Boyoung Jung, and all of the Joy Givers members. From your help and prayers, I have been adapted to the new surrounding in New York City. Also, I would like to say thanks to my best friends; Misil Song, Yeonsik Choi, Shuyim Moon, Boyoun Choi, Haena Han, and Jihye Jung. Thanks for always encouraging me from Korea to study and live alone. I really appreciate my family for always supporting me and always understanding my decisions. My mentors, father, mother, sister, brother-in-law, and brother... I love you all and thanks for always encouraging me to study abroad. Lastly, thanks to the Lord for allowing me a great time in New York City. I am not afraid of my future because you will lead my life. Thank you. Director and Designer YOUSUN MIN 12


WHAT

DEFINITION

DOES HOMESICKNESS MEAN?

HOMESICKNESS [NOUN] Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from the specific home environment or attachment objects. 1) The distance from home 2) A sense of anticlimax- you have finally arrived at university after working towords it for so long 3) unhappiness when things are different to your expectations of student life 4) A heavy workload 5) those who are homesick often feel they have no control over their environmnet, and that they are not identified with it or comitted to the university or their place in it. Information from WWW.THESITE.ORG

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WHY

DO PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH HOMESICKNESS?

COLLECTED FROM SEP 2011 TO JAN 2012 TARGETS INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY AND AMERICANS (NOT BORN IN NEW YORK CITY) TOTAL 150 16


WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NYC AND YOUR HOME CITY? DIVERSE CULTURE/ENVIRONMENTS

38%

CROWDEDNESS

22%

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150 YOUNG PEOPLE SAID THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NYC AND THEIR HOME TOWN IS DIVERSE CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT, LANGUAGE, FOOD, DIVERSE RACES, DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS AND VALUES, INDIVISUALISM, PACE OF THE CITY, OPEN MINDEDNESS,FREEDOM, CROWDEDNESS, WEATHER, PERSONAL INTERACTION, EXPENSIVENESS, DIRTINESS, CURRENCY, EXERCISE, ARCHITECTURE, LESS GREEN SPACE,CULTURAL SPEED, OUTGOINGNESS, ETC.

CURRENCY

18% LANGUAGE

13%

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WHEN DO YOU FEEL HOMESICK? WHILE TALKING WITH FAMILY

39% WHILE SICK

25% 19


150 YOUNG PEOPLE SAID THEY FEEL HOMESICK WHILE SICK, WHILE TALKING WITH FAMILY OVER THE PHONE AND MISSING FAMILY OR FRIENDS, ON HOLIDAYS AND IMPORTANT DAYS, FREE TIME SPENT ALONE, WHEN I AM TIRED AND STRESSED, DURING HARD WORK AT SCHOOL, MISSING MOM’S FOOD, WHEN HAVING A HARD TIME ALONE, WHEN MOVING TO NEW PLACE, DURING SOCIAL PROBLEMS, WHILE MISSING THE PAST, WHEN THERE IS A LANGUAGE BARRIER, WHEN I FEEL THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY, ETC.

ON HOLIDAYS AND IMPORTANT DAYS

14%

FREE TIME SPENT ALONE

11%

WHEN THERE IS A LANGUAGE BARRIER

10%

Understand?

.... 20


WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE HOMESICK?

52% GO OUT AND ENJOY NYC


150 YOUNG PEOPLE SAID WHEN THEY FEEL HOMESICK, THEY CALL FAMILY AND FRIENDS FROM THEIR HOMETOWN, EAT SWEETS, CRY, GO OUT AND ENJOY NYC, CALL AND MEET FRIENDS IN NYC, WATCH TV FROM THEIR HOME CONTRY, REST, SLEEP, USE SOCIAL MEDIA, LISTEN TO MUSIC, THINK ABOUT GOALS AND DREAMS, THINK POSITIVE, EXERCISE, WALK, KEEP BUSY, GO SHOPPING, WRITE IN A JOURNAL, PRAY TO GOD, HUG A TEDDY BEAR, THINK ABOUT THE PAST, LOOK AT PICTURES, TALK TO A THERAPIST, READ BOOKS FROM THEIR HOME COUNTRY, ETC.

EAT SWEETS

28% LISTEN TO MUSIC

12%

4<:0*

GO SHOPPING

5%

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20

WAYS

TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS When you feel homesick, lonely, depressed, without passion, let’s do some fun, unique things. I would like to introduce 20 ways to overcome homesickness. Everybody has homesickness. Feeling homesick is not strange. It’s normal. It will not be possible to completely remove homesickness, but let’s do something to make you happy. Also, through 20 ways to overcome homesickness and advice from mentors, I hope you feel better, enjoy New York City life, and look for your dreams. Written by YOUSUN MIN

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1 FIND YOUR PLACE

New York City is very international and diverse. It is easy to meet people if you go out and start looking for something you enjoy, like a coffee shop. Find a coffee shop you like and make it yours. If you go regularly, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll eventually start meeting people and making it feel like home. Written by CINTHYA URASAKI

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TASTE 100 types

of

When I feel homesick, and depressed, I usually eat chocolates. In New York City, there are many different kinds of chocolate which come from all over the world. I would like to suggest tasting 100 types of chocolate and writing how each different chocolate tastes. According to CNN, chocolate contains substances that might mimic the effects of marijuana, boosting the pleasure you get from eating the stuff. When you eat chocolates and write the differences, you will not feel homesick. Because chocolate makes you happy! Written by YOUSUN MIN

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2


3 Take the

SUBWAY AIMLESSLY

I walk to where I have never been before. If I have lots of thoughts that cannot be controlled by myself and I do not want to think, I just walk. Thoughts always make more thoughts, so I try to blank my mind and it fills with new ideas. When I am walking on a street that I have never been on before, I feel that I am alive in a new world. In the new place, I think that there are lots of new things that I will feel, touch, experience and see that give me new energy. Written by SUNYOUNG PARK

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Run

BROOKLYN BRIDGE WITHOUT STOPPING I pretty much run three times a week, building up my endurance to overcome homesickness. I ran in the cross country camp for my school, where the motto was â&#x20AC;&#x153;Show up and get better.â&#x20AC;? (Obviously there was more than just going but it is easy to improve just with consistent effort, something that kind of surprised me at first.) I had today off for running, but I knew that I was not going to get the chance to test myself during practice tomorrow, so I hooked myself up to the treadmill, picked a speed that would be easy to maintain, and just did it. I would like to suggest runing the Brooklyn Bridge without stopping. If this is your first time it will be hard. However, if you finish the run without stopping, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. It will help to overcome your despression and feel less loney because when you run, serotonin in your body will be released and it make you feel happy and make your thoughts positive. Written by KENNETH TSAI

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5 LOOKWHERE YOU ARE

Sometimes, I forget where I am. Living and studying in New york City is lucky. Everybody wants to live here, but everybody cannot live here. Look up! What do you see from where you are sitting! You should remember you are a lucky person to live in an amazing city. Enjoy it! Written by ANTONIO FIERRO

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34


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BUILD

A VILLAGE

Have you ever heard about Smurfsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Village? This is a very interesting game app in which you create a new village with whatever you want with little smurfs. Also, when you feel lonely or miss home, it may help to overcome your bad feeling. Because when I struggled with homesickness, one of my friends recommended this game and since then I have started to create my new home in Smurfsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Village. In my new home, I met other neighbors and raised a cute yellow duck. Written by HYUNJI KIM

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MARCH 8, 2012, 3PM JASON HEUER MARCH 8, 2012, 5PM CINTHYA URASAKI MARCH 12, 2012, 12PM SANGEETHA KOWSIK MARCH 18, 2012, 3PM INHYUN RYU MARCH 27, 2012, 1PM TIMO RISSANEN APRIL 1, 2012, 3PM BEN HO APRIL 3, 2012, 5PM FRANCESCO SPAMPINATO


FINDYOUR

MENTORS

Seek a mentor and learn all you can from them. This could be anyone on the staff who is open to spending time with you. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid to ask them to be your mentor; most people will be flattered and want to help. Set goals with this mentor for what you want to learn while you are there and be sure to set up an interview with them. Also, set up an interview with immediate boss, if they are not the same person. Written by LISA ANSELMO, Creative Director at Time inc.

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INTERVIEW 1

JASON HEUER JASON HEUER IS AN ART DIRECTOR AT SIMON & SCHUSTER AND HE ALSO DOES FREELANCE WORK IN ALL TYPES OF DESIGN, INCLUDING IDENTITY, MUSIC, RESTAURANT, AND EVEN FURNITURE. CURRENTLY HE’S REDESIGNING HIS APARTMENT WITH A MASTER-CARPENTER FRIEND. BASICALLY JASON DESIGNS WHATEVER COMES ALONG.

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“New York City is a stream of luck, opportunity, and hope for the best.” best thing, as I mentioned earlier, is making a living being creative. I have had numerous unrewarding jobs since the age of 13 and it really feels like a blessing to get paid to do something I love. Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN?

Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER? I wanted to make a living being creative instead of doing it after hours. I was into the fine arts throughout my youth. In my twenties I was a performer/poet, curated local art shows, started a ‘zine, organized events, and practiced some of the circus arts. I ended up involved in the graphic design aspect of all those pursuits (t-shirts, invites, and posters). Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER? Rejection of, or compromising a great design are definitely the hardest parts. It is commercial art after all and there is a client, usually more than one, with an opinion. I have had my design-heart broken many times! The 41

I am from Rhinebeck , NY. The difference is the classic difference between country living and city living. I grew up in the woods where some of the roads were still unpaved dirt, sometimes making a mess in the spring. I came from a car culture to a public transportation culture, from neighbors living a good distance away to neighbors above and below. My high school graduating class had 60 people, and I knew many of the residents and shop owners walking through our onetraffic-light town. There was a big difference moving into a city of 8 million strangers. Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT HOMETOWN THAT HELPS YOU TODAY? I have worked with and befriended many foreigners and I have learned that people don’t vary that much beneath the “thin veneer” of culture and language. Most people want the same comforts of friends and family, to work and live without struggle. Most people, given a chance, have something to teach you or show you. That’s an over-simplification maybe, and there’s only so much room for my observations, but here is one. When I was 18 I moved to Florida and became friends with my manager who was from Lebanon and a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War in Beirut.


Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

Eventually he spoke of his experiences and one in particular: he was playing cards in an alley with his squad and lost the hand so they sent him out to get sodas for everyone. When he returned he found that a missile had hit the alley and all of his friends were dead. There was such sadness in his eyes recounting this, certainly more than I had seen as an 18-yearold American from Rhinebeck, New York. Fourteen years later in NYC I dated a woman from Israel who had served in the Army there, as most citizens do. Between her stories and those of her friends and relatives who had been in combat or affected by terrorism, I realized that they had the same sad look in their eyes when recounting their stories. No one from either side spoke fondly of it, or with unremitting pride. Most regular people did not want to fight, especially and unfortunately after the fact. The common population from both sides wanted the same comforts. Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? I felt homesick a lot at first. I would call my friends and family back home quite often and that certainly helped. Between work and school I kept pretty busy and started to make new acquaintances. When I lived in Inwood in Manhattan, I would go out of my way to walk down a small street, Payson Avenue, that ran along Inwood Hill Park. The park was densely wooded, quiet, and smelled like dirt and foliage. There were crickets and fireflies during the warmer months. I would also go into the trails that ran all over the hill. It reminded me of living in the country in such a sweet way and had a very centering effect.

It takes a while to find your own pace in the city and make friends. They say it takes at least a year to settle into someplace new. Allow yourself that time and try not to worry about it. Try to keep who you are and where you come from aligned within yourself while fitting into and adapting to the city. It’s a balancing act to redefine yourself in NYC while staying centered and keeping what you brought with you from home. Sometimes that balance is thrown off, that’s part of the process and you have to allow for that. I will have been here for ten years this August and just now am I able to look back and see the arc of my time here as a coherent story. It’s quite an adventure. Maybe remind yourself of that from time to time, especially during the hard times. Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? 1) Learn, learn, learn: Learn from class, learn from your peers. Learn from the city. 2) Stay open, but know when to close down for a while, the city can be overwhelming. 3) Connect with people in your field, put yourself out there even if it’s awkward. 4) Work hard, even if you are tired and feel you are working at 50% capacity, it’s better than giving up. Who knows, your 50% could be equal to someone else’s 95%.


INTERVIEW 2

CINTHYA URASAKI CINTHYA URASAKI IS A SENIOR USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN LEAD AT GOOGLE. SHE WORKS ON DESIGNING WEB-BASED SOFTWARE. SHE SAID, “AS A DESIGNER I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR DESIGNING THE END-TO-END USER EXPERIENCE, MAKING SURE IT’S EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND IT ADDRESSES USERS’ NEEDS.”

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a multidisciplinary team. I have the honor to work with very talented people from different disciplines including software engineers, project managers, business managers, sales, usability engineers, etc. We work as a unity, collaborating end to end: coming up with a concept, sketching, wire-framing, designing high fidelity mock ups, testing them with real users, iterating the designs based on feedback and finally implementing it onto the real product that gets released to the world. The best feeling I had was when I saw a friend or even a random person using the product I have worked on. It’s worth every single minute of the time I spent on the designs. Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER? I knew I wanted to be a designer since I was probably 9 or 10 years old. My older sister had a friend who is a graphic designer and I always admired her work. I’ve always been interested in art and design. I loved watching the intros of movie trailers; the motion graphics of title sequences were so inspiring to watch. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER? The hardest thing about being a designer is to educate people about what I do. Some people don’t understand that design is a very broad term and there are many types of designers. Explaining what User Experience design means could also be challenging because people are not aware that this is an actual “profession”. That said it’s very rewarding to see people’s reaction when they understand what I do. They get to know me a little better knowing what I do everyday. What I enjoy the most is the process we go through when designing a product. Designing entails not only the actual visuals on the UI (user interface) but the process we go through as 45

I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. I moved to the US in 2004 and to New York City in 2009. Lima is a not as diverse as NYC and most people eventually know each other somehow through friends of friends of friends. NYC is more diverse; I love walking down the street and hearing so many different languages. It feels so great to be part of the mix. Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT HOMETOWN THAT HELPS YOU TODAY? I learned to pay attention and absorb as much as I can about the new place I am living in. It’s the best way to get to know a new city and its people. I walk around the city to see what it feels like, sit on a bench and watch people going on about their daily lives, ask a random person for directions and am not afraid about “fitting in”. Q. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACED LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY? The things you hate about NYC are the things you love about NYC. Making friends in NYC can be hard, making it easy to stay home and feel lonely. But at the same time, NYC is very international and diverse and it’s also easy to meet people if you go out and start looking


“New York City is home.” My fiance and I are both foreigners and after living in different cities in the US, we finally found a city that feels like our home.

for something you enjoy, like a coffee shop. Find a coffee shop you like and make it yours. If you go regularly you’ll eventually start meeting people and making it feel like home. Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? Feeling homesick is normal, especially during certain dates or events. When I feel homesick I tend to either call back home or chat with a friend or family. I also enjoy going to Peruvian restaurants where it feels like home. My favorite Peruvian restaurants are Panca, LaMar and Pio Pio. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? My advice is to always remember the opportunity you have of living in NYC. Take advantage of it. There are so many ways to easily communicate across the world that

you should be able to share what you’re experiencing here in real time with anyone around the world. So enjoy it and make your family and friends a part of your experience here. Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? New York City can be overwhelming when you first arrive. It’s always good to start getting to know your neighborhood and finding spots you like. Start making your own New York that way. Find a coffee shop you enjoy, a great deli around the corner, a good brunch place, etc. That way it is not overwhelming and you start making a home out of a big city.


INTERVIEW 3

SANGEETHA KOWSIK SANGEETHA KOWSIK IS A SENIOR DESIGNER IN THE PRODUCT DESIGN DEPARTMENT AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART. SHE USUALLY DESIGNS FOR PACKAGING, PRINTED PRODUCT, JEWELRY, AND STATIONARY FOR THE MET GIFT STORE. SHE ALSO DESIGNS SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS.

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“New York City is the land of opportunity.” Anything and everything you want to do is possible here. Things are readily accessible and there is never a chance of getting bored here. There are a million possibilities and an infinite amount of things to do.

always be aware of new technologies and new design programs. There is a lot of competition in design and you have to make your self the best of the best. The best part of design is being able to do what you love for a living. Q. HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE FIND A JOB? HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB?

Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER? I have always loved to paint and draw. Initially I wanted to become a fashion designer because I love clothes and jewelry. I fell in love with Alexander Mcqueen’s designs when I was 13 and wanted to pursue fashion. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER? The hardest thing about being a designer is that you have to keep your mind sharp and always be on the go, always be up on trends, 49

You have to be willing to take any design job that is given to you. Take anything that will hone your skills. I have worked in publication, packaging, fashion, footwear design, children’s design. You have to be mentally prepared that not everything is your dream job and that sometimes you have to take crappy jobs with low pay, or do bad design jobs in order to prepare you for something bigger and better. I got my job after 10 years of working in various companies. I had many highs and lows in my career. I am deeply grateful for the job that I have now. I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE? Be open and patient. Understand that not everyone will always agree with you or view things the same way as you. Be firm in your beliefs, but be open to change as well. Listen carefully. Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? I am Indian American, born and raised in


Fremont, California. The difference between my hometowns are many. Fremont is an upper middle class suburb. It has a large Afghan, Indian, and Asian population. People are very closeknit in their communities and set in their ways. NYC is filled with various people. Although there are various communities, because NYC is cramped and areawise small, there is more chance to interact with a diverse group of people. Q. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACED LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY? That people are too busy to give constant attention to you. It can be lonely at times because of its hustle and bustle. Also it can be quite frustrating and challenging in the world of design. Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? I used to feel homesick all the time because I missed my parents and my sister. But I am lucky because I have a great group of friends. My favorite places are the Temple, the Met,

Museum of Natural History. My favorite restaurants are Horus Café and Café ASean in the West Village. I also have strong faith that things happen for a reason and try and make a list of all the good NYC has to offer. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? That you are here for a reason. If you love design then stick it out, come what may in NYC. Whatever frustrations you might have or whatever challenges you might have to face, that you came here for a reason and have faith in yourself that you will succeed! Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? To be prepared for the challenges NYC poses. And to keep in mind that you are in NYC for a reason and to achieve your goals, to keep a brave face and positive attitude at all times.


INTERVIEW 4

INHYUN RYU

INHYUN RYU IS A SENIOR PASTOR OF NEW FRONTIER CHURCH IN NEW YORK CITY. NEW FRONTIER CHURCH IS FOCUSED ON “VISION 2020”, WHICH INVOLVES A KINGDOM PROFESSIONAL CENTER, A NEXT-GENERATION CHURCH, A GLOBAL CHURCH, AND A MISSIONAL CHURCH. (WWW.NEWFRONTIERCHURCH.NET)

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“New York City is the heart of the whole world.” This city is the heart of the whole world: very secular, very trendy, very diverse, but with a huge gap between the rich and the poor. As a Christian, New York City needs to be transformed morally, spiritually, culturally, and socially by the healthy ethical standard which is guided in the bible. other in Manhattan, NY. I visited the sites and worshiped with young people on Sunday, 2007 and I received a ministry offer from the Chodae. I served two sites, Fort Lee and Manhattan for 2 years and then I became a leading pastor of the Chodae Manhattan site. In 2010 Chodae established the Manhattan site as New Frontier Church, and afterwards I became a senior pastor of New Frontier Church. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A PASTOR AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A PASTOR?

Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PASTOR? My dad is also a pastor. He pastured as a minister for 30 years. His resilient pastoral life has inspired me to become a pastor. I love to teach, preach, help, and pray for people. Q. HOW DID YOU BECOME A PASTOR IN NEW YORK CITY? After my theological study at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) in Philadelphia for 6 years, I prayed to God for the next step. In 2007, a WTS alumnus pastor introduced me to a young adult group in Chodae Community Church, NJ. At that time, there were two different young adult groups in Chodae: one in Fort Lee, NJ, the 53

The hardest thing as a pastor is self-control. People want to see pastors behave Christlike, but I am also a sinner and need care from others like many others. The best thing as a pastor is joy from heaven, hope for the Kingdom of Heaven, daily walk with Jesus, and the transformation of people through my ministry. Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? I am from South Korea. The major difference between Korea and NYC is that Korea is not diverse and almost uniform, but NYC is very diverse. NYC’s personal, cultural and social spectrum is much wider than Korea’s.


Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY THAT HELPS YOU TODAY?

Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY?

I learned from my time in the USA that people are very different and unique, yet can be united. I learned mutual respect and how to discuss and critique without looking down.

Fight a persistent fight with yourself. Don’t fight with others but fight with the inner enemy within yourself. Don’t indulge in any evil things. The characteristics of sin is addiction. Try to set a good goal for you study, pray to God, and do your best. Seize the opportunity when it comes, for it does not come when you want.

Q. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACED LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY? NYC’s ban on worship on Sunday in public schools. I thought the USA is the kingdom of freedom of religion, but in reality, NYC is very anti-Christian. I feel New Yorkers are very cold, cocky, and cranky. There is a small percentile of marriage and prevalent sexual immorality. Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? When I feel homesick I call up the phone to talk to my parents in Korea. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? Every human being feels loneliness and homesickness naturally. If you feel homesick, you can call your parents, or go to meet family if possible, or meet friends who also feel homesick.

THE ONE WHO SENT ME IS WITH ME; HE HAS NOT LEFT ME ALONE, FOR I ALWAYS DO WHAT PLEASES HIM JOHN 8:29 54


INTERVIEW 5

TIMO RISSANEN TIMO RISSANEN IS AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF FASHION DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILITY AT PARSONS. HE RESEARCHES AND TEACHES FASHION DESIGN WITH A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY.

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“New York City is my home.” Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER? I always had an interest in fashion although I didn’t see it as a career; I was going to become a conservation biologist. A chance meeting with a fashion designer when I was 18 made me realize that fashion could be a career for me. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER? The hardest thing is time management in a university that is undergoing some exciting changes. The best thing are the exciting changes, and the students. Q. HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE FIND A JOB? HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB? Someone from Parsons emailed me about the position, I was living in Australia at the time. Connections with people are the most important. In 12 years I’ve only applied for two jobs (and got both); all the other ones came through word-of-mouth. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE? Keep communication timely and concise. Telephone or face-to-face always has more impact than email or text message. 57

Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? I come from Nummela, a small country town in Finland. The main difference is size and population; New York is enormous and has people from around the world. Nummela is small and mainly has just Finnish people. I also consider Sydney, Australia my hometown because I lived there for 14 years. Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT HOMETOWN THAT HELPS YOU TODAY? I’ve only lived in NYC for two years so I learned most things in other places. I guess I have learned that ‘being a foreigner’ is a choice, and I choose not to be a foreigner, wherever I am.


Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? I feel homesick for Finland and Australia; I use the Internet to feel connected, whether by reading newspapers or stay connected to people. I’m also a part of some Finnish communities in New York. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

also important to immerse yourself in the culture of your new home. Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? 1) Make time to experience the city. Let’s go to the Highline, Central Park, and the Museums. 2) Walk the streets. Some of my best moments in NYC have been just walking aimlessly in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Acknowledge the homesickness and remember that there is nothing wrong with it. Finding other people from your country can be helpful, but it is

“CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT. IN 12 YEARS I’VE ONLY APPLIED FOR TWO JOBS; ALL THE OTHER ONES CAME THROUGH WORD-OF-MOUTH.” 58


INTERVIEW 6

BENJAMIN HO BEN HO IS WORKING AS A TAX ACCOUNTANT FOR KPMG. HE SAID HE LOOKS FOR, “ EMPLOYEES THAT TAKE OWNERSHIP, THAT SOLVE PROBLEMS RATHER THAN ASK QUESTIONS.”

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“New York City is so diverse and it became my real home.” well in English, had an excellent work ethic (as evidenced by high marks in education), and that were polite, interesting, outgoing. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A TAX ACCOUNTANT AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A TAX ACCOUNTANT? The hardest thing about being an accountant is the redundancy. The best thing is the interaction with the people (team members, bosses, colleagues, clients). Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE?

Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A TAX ACCOUNTANT? It was a decision I made after weighing the pros and cons of careers in law, finance, medicine, and accounting. I made the decision to become an accountant because it was practical, consistent with my long term goals, and because it was a match with my skill set and personality. Q. HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE FIND A JOB? HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB? Young people can succeed in finding a job in the US if they perfect their English language skills, achieve high marks in education, and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. The most successful young students I have met were those that were able to express their emotions, thoughts, personalities perfectly 61

Try to avoid use of the word “you”. Try to avoid use of the phrase “to be honest”. Check and read over important emails several times before sending them. Try to eliminate all grammatical mistakes in writing, especially spelling errors. Dress well. When presenting, use big gestures for big rooms, small gestures for small rooms. Work the room. Walk around. Tell people what is being said should matter for them; why it is important for them to listen. Thank people when they send you an email. Find ways to agree. When possible, always choose to speak to someone in person. If that’s not possible, use the phone. If that’s not possible, then as a last resort, use email or another form of written communication. Emails and written communication can be dangerous and counterproductive when not used appropriately.


Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? I am from Cary, North Carolina. Cary is a much smaller, slower, and less diverse city. But it has more open areas, nature, and pleasant weather. Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT HOMETOWN THAT HELPS YOU TODAY? Being polite and respectful are qualities respected in all cultures and countries. One does not have to speak the language to be polite.

Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? Always say “yes” when someone asks you to do something and get together. Don’t get a television. Spend as much time as you can outside of your apartment. Join a gym. Join a class. Work and Play. Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? Take your jobs seriously. Act professionally. Don’t surf the web at work.

Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? When I feel homesick, I like to move. Get out of the apartment and meet people. Stay active. Work out. Go to bars. Anything outside of home. Spend time with people.

“WHEN PRESENTING, USE BIG GESTURES FOR BIG ROOMS, SMALL GESTURES FOR SMALL ROOMS. WORK THE ROOM. WALK AROUND.” 62


INTERVIEW 7

FRANCESCO SPAMPINATO FRANCESCO SPAMPINATO IS A CONTEMPORARY ART HISTORIAN, THEORIST, AND VISUAL ARTIST. HE IS ALSO A PROFESSOR AT PARSONS IN NEW YORK CITY AND RISD IN RHODE ISLAND.

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“New York City is about transnationalism, multiculturalism and paradoxes: life as entertainment and life as risk, commodites and trash.”

The hardest thing is to deal with the market and discover that culture hardly could be an independent intellectual activity. The best thing is the satisfaction you get when you interfere with this system. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE? Reading helps you to use words and then to elaborate thinking. If you don’t have words you cannot think because you don’t know how to communicate what you’re thinking.

Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CONTEMPORARY ART HISTORIAN, THEORIST AND VISUAL ARTIST? The desire to be an active participant in contemporary culture. Q. HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE FIND A JOB? HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB? Through call for jobs and through connections. In New York meritocracy is valid at 99%, at least for my personal experience. If you have a connection and don’t have the skills you don’t get the job. If you’re no one but have the skills, then you’ll get the job. Q. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ART THEORIST, ARTIST AND PROFESSOR AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ART THEORIST, ARTIST AND PROFESSOR? 65

Q. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND YOUR HOMETOWN? I come from Bologna, Italy. The difference is in the scale. New Yorkers maintain differences but have a strong identity, even if temporary. Q. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN A DIFFERENT HOMETOWN THAT HELPS YOU TODAY? To not judge people at a first glance. To be proud of the differences and not try to look like what you’re not. To follow a personal ethic even though it doesn’t match with the main cultural, political and religious ideologies and values of the country where you live. Q. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACED LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY? Meeting new friends. Getting used to the weather.


Q. WHEN DID YOU FEEL HOMESICK AND WHERE DID YOU GO AND WHAT DID YOU DO AT THAT TIME? The idea of “home” is really blurred. I like to think of that more as a psychological state. In any case, regardless if you’re homesick or else, my favorite activity in New York is to buy books at Strand. Any moment is good for that. Q. COULD YOU GIVE SOME ADVICE TO HOMESICK STUDENTS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? If they are here temporarily, I would say to them that they have their whole life to live in their own home country so there is no reason to miss it. I would also encourage them to enjoy the city, its entertainments and the cultural activities it offers in abudance. I would also encourage them to study a lot and read all the readings assigned by their professors and ask for more. The academic quality of New York universities and schools is really high and not comparable with what most of the students could find in their home schools… Take advantage of that! Q. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG STUDENTS SETTING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY? To have a mobile Internet connection and to focus on what they are here for. I would also say, “Do not get a cheap tattoo in St. Marks place.”


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WRITEYOUR

DREAM

You have to think of the reason why you left home and came to study. What is the future plan or goal, and what kind of opportunities are out there? Homesickness is only temporary or only while you are away from home. Career and future continues and you have to think in the long term. If I were to limit this issue to students who study in NYC, I would say many people want to come and study in NYC so you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste this opportunity either. Written by HISAMI KOYAMA

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9

CLEANYOUR ROOM, CLEAR YOUR

HEAD

When I feel homesick or lonely, I just clean my room to clear my head at the same time, because thoughts make more thoughts. Have it in your mind before you start to clean that you are not going to save anything due to emotional attachment or in the hope that you will wear it when you lose weight. This makes the task very easy and now, with at least 50 garments lighter, your closet looks great and you feel great. First, take everything out and put it on your bed and then clean and organize into a new system (what goes where). Make everything ‘earn’ its way back into the closet. Finally, the remaining items go to charity or in the trash. Don’t forget! Throw on some good music! Written by MICHELE RINALDI

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suncream Wearthe SEE SUN

I usually go out to see the sun no matter if I feel depressed or homesick. Sunlight is believed to affect the production of endorphins. These hormones play a role in giving us a sense of well-being and happiness. I especially love to go to the High Line Park to read a book or take a nap. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget! If you are deprived of sunlight you will develop an extreme vitamin D deficiency, and you will become very depressed. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see the sun and enjoy New York life! Written by YOUSUN MIN


10

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MAKE

ARTWORK

The best thing is making a living being creative. Especially, producing a drawing work relieves my homesickness since it pushes me to concentrate on my own interpretation of the existing world. Everyone has a different perspective on the same object and it makes different drawings. That is the beauty of it. Written by JUWAN LIM


11

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12 WRITE

LETTERS to

YOURSELF Love letters make people happy. Sometimes, I send a letter to myself when I feel depressed or lose my passion. I usually write my goals and positive thoughts in the letter. 1 week or 2 weeks later, when the letter comes to my house, I feel really happy and remember what my dream is and what I need to achieve my dream. Sending inspirational postcards to myself is a great time to look for my purpose of living in New York City and think about my dreams. Written by YOUSUN MIN


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13 LOOK MORE

GREEN

To me green is comforting, refreshing, inviting, and soothing. After a long stressful day, I come home, open the door, and the soft gray green walls in my kitchen instantly make me feel calm and relaxed. I don't really wear green clothes or wouldn't decorate with certain shades of green...but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my favorite color because it makes me feel peaceful. Written by ERIKA TEMPLETON

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14 TALK to

A STRANGER I talk to someone I met on the Internet or iphone app. While talking to them, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have anything to consider. I am free to say anything. I can talk about my secrets, and complaints without letting any of my friends know. Most of the time, it is more relaxing to talk to them than to talk to my family or friends because you might care about their feelings. After making new friends on the Internet, homesickness is mostly cured since homesickness happens when you are bored. Once you are busy, you won't get homesick. Written by XINLE HUANG

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15 SMILE

LOOK AT YOUR FACE! ARE YOU SMILING OR ANGRY? There was one fellow student, originally from the Philippines, who introduced himself to me at my first week at school. And then I noticed he introduced himeself to everyone with a smile and some small awkward talking. I really admired him for that. You could tell that he was nervous and it was an effort, but he kept doing it and everyone knew him by the end of that first year. I think as students we are all naturally receptive to a friendly smile and introduction. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be perfect or even natural. Written by JASON HEUER

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16

t  in e k hi ng  

lo a   r o  f ect e...   f r d e r  p d  sha e   h M n eat n  a  9A 05, day  w of  su 1   Day t  Sun  mix   a Gre rfect e p A  

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.

ods

wo Red e h


RECORDYOUR

HAPPINESS

If you feel homesick and depressed, find at least one thing each day that makes you happy and record it everyday for a year. When Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking for one thing that makes me happy, I forget about my homesickness or bad feelings because it is fun. When you listen to your recording after a year, you will realize how you are the happiest person on earth! Written by YOUSUN MIN

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7 1


at CRY TIMES SQUARE When I feel homesick or lonely, I just go to Times Square to cry as much as I can. When I am done, I don’t feel alone because there are so many people smiling, fun music, lights, and random characters. I feel all of these people surrounding me and people seem to say to me, “ You are not alone.” Written by Ernesto Gl

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HERBALtea

TIME

When I feel homesick and depressed, I have herbal tea time with my roommate. The herbs’ smell treates my bad mood and makes me more relaxed. Chamomile is my favorite herbal tea. If you don’t know about herbal tea, let’s try Chamomile tea first! It will help restore a sense of peace or happiness in people suffering from low moods or depression. Written by MARTIN HUGHE

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18

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19 PRETEND to

be a MODEL

When I feel homesick, I go window shopping to pretend to be a model no matter if I buy a something or not. Nomally, people want somthing to make them happy so they buy new stuff, hoping it will make them happy. But, I recommend just enjoying having a fun time without spending money! Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wear something unique, sexy, and fun that you have never tried before. You feel like a model in a fashion runway and it makes you forget about bad feelings. Witten by CINDY SALANT

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! P U R E E CH N DO IT! YOU CA

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20 GIVE

PRESENTS TO SOMEONE

Sometimes, I buy gifts for my friends to encourage their dreams. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the thought behind the gift that makes me happy. It is the emotional response from taking the time to figure out what they like and then wrapping it up in an aesthetically appealing package and presenting it to your friends. Gifts not only make the receiver happy, but also make givers even more happy! Written by YOUSUN MIN

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“AMID THE UNCERTAINTY AND PRESSURES SURROUNDING YOU, JESUS IS AT YOUR SIDE TO STRENGTHEN AND ENCOURAGE YOU.” by CHARLES F. STANLEY

OH PROJECT  

How to overcome Homesickness

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