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“I don’t want to come here anymore.”
Mr. Lee (64), who has been walking a single road as a photographer while taking pictures in the university district for 30 years, vowed not to attend graduation ceremonies any more. It is difficult to find university graduation ceremonies that have been lively due to the prolonged outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Busy graduates, flower bouquet vendors, and photographers recording memories almost stopped going.
Mr. Lee said, “Snapshots are popular these days, and there is no one who comes out from a nearby photo studio like me.”
Due to the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, major universities in Seoul held non-face-to-face graduation ceremonies for the second year in a row. Many such as Korea University, Sogang University, and Sungkyunkwan University broadcast the graduation ceremony live on YouTube, and designated the week of the award ceremony as Graduation Celebration Week.
Graduates set a date for loaning out their uniforms, and visited the school to commemorate their graduation. However, most of the graduates expressed dissatisfaction with the different scenery of the graduation ceremony from before.
“It’s a pity that I can’t feel the vibrant atmosphere and excitement unique to graduation ceremonies,” said Yoon Mo (26), a graduate of Korea University.
Kim (24), a graduate of Sungkyunkwan University’s dance department, said, “The unity of the department is good, so I have the most memories of the graduation ceremony, but now I don’t.”
As the scenery of graduation ceremonies in college towns has changed rapidly over the past two years due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the graduation ceremonies that swiftly responded to the non-face-to-face era are also noteworthy.
Sungkyunkwan University presented a certificate made with NFT (Non-Fungible Token) at the graduation ceremony held on the 16th. NFT is a token that represents digital assets with scarcity.
An official from Sungkyunkwan University said, “We decided to create an NFT listing to give a new meaning to the graduation ceremony whose value has faded due to COVID-19. can be used,” he said.
Some universities prepared special entrance ceremonies that were different from before, leaving behind the regrets of graduation ceremonies.
Sogang University held the first entrance ceremony for the highest level of metaverse graduate school S-meta on the same day, signaling the start of nurturing talents for the metaverse industry, which is considered a next-generation core industry.
Shim Jong-hyuk, president of Sogang University, said, “Just as the Internet has guided our lives and economy for the past 30 years, the next 30 years will be a metaverse world. .