Hectic schedules, student org activities, and my favorite school canteen snacks (a.k.a siomai rice)—this is how I remember my school life. NGL, it's both tiring and fun, and there's ~drama~ when something unexpected happens in the classroom. Now, as young adults, life is way different but the memories made as students are always here to stay.
Before things get more emotional, let's talk about how K-dramas can depict our school lives and make us feel as if we are part of the scenes. These series are so interesting to watch that we often say to ourselves, "Gabing gabi na pero sige, isang episode pa." A theme that Hallyu fans love is one that's set in high school and college, which have coming-of-age stories that we can all relate to and find comfort in.
If you miss your school life, here are 10 K-dramas that will give you all the feels:
1. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty (2018)
To live with insecurities is never easy. You constantly need to remind yourself that other people can't measure your worth but sometimes, it just doesn't work. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty circles around Kang Mi Rae who has always been conscious about her appearance until she decides to get plastic surgery. As she enters university life, she meets the handsome and popular Do Kyung Suk who happens to be her elementary schoolmate. From there, she starts to realize that beauty is more than just what our eyes can see.
This K-drama has everything that would make you miss your college days. From the combination of joy and worry about going to school on the first day to the campus romance, My ID Is Gangnam Beauty will not only make you feel youthful but will also let you understand the importance of self-love.
2. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)
I don't know about you but no one's moving on from the 2016 era of K-dramas. It was my last school year in college and I remember watching episodes of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo in between writing our thesis. It brought me genuine happiness and gave me the motivation to chase my dreams. I'm pretty sure this is the similar impact the series has brought to its majority of viewers.
Kim Bok Joo is no ordinary K-drama character. As a loving daughter, she helps her father in their fried chicken restaurant. As a college student, she dreams to become a successful weightlifter. While the series has no strong antagonist or plot twists, it has plenty of relatable scenes where life lessons can be learned.
3. Cheese In The Trap (2016)
Who's in it: Park Hae Jin, Kim Go Eun, Seo Kang Joon, Lee Sung Kyung
Another gem from 2016, Cheese In The Trap is based on a webtoon written by Soonkki. This one is best recommended for those who are searching for an uncommon campus story. It revolves around college students who found themselves involved in a love triangle. Cheese In The Trap will make you feel frustrated but it has great redemption through character development. This might not be your usual concept of romance but it's a must-watch! The contrast of personalities among the main characters adds spice to the plot. Props to the actors for such great portrayals!
Kim Go Eun as Hong Seol is relevant to college students who try to balance their academics and work. Much has been said about this series but one takeaway is that Cheese In The Trap is much deeper than what we see from the surface.
4. Reply 1994 (2013)
Who’s in it: Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Sung Kyun, Song Ho Jun, Baro, Min Do Hee
If you're up for a major throwback, this K-drama is the perfect one for you! This is also the second installment from the Reply series. Set in 1994, the show will make you realize that going to school is not just about getting a degree. The journey you take before graduating means a lot, too. Reply 1994 also depicts a beautiful story of how you will find love through friendship.
The drama is another example where a love triangle is featured. I always get excited about rooting for my *chosen* male character to win the heart of the female lead. Just to give a hint, you might get second lead syndrome by watching this!
5. At A Distance, Spring Is Green
Who's in it: Park Ji Hoon, Kang Min Ah, Bae In Hyuk
At A Distance, Spring Is Green is a coming-of-stage story that centers on the life of freshman student, Yeo Jun. While he appears to have everything (as someone who's wealthy, famous, and handsome), he's actually hiding his vulnerable side that is rooted in painful experiences.
Young adults can most likely relate to this in a way that we try our best to look okay despite fighting our own silent battles. Overall, At A Distance, Spring Is Green shows the heartwarming junior-senior relationship with our school kuyas and ates. There's also bromance here!
6. Moment Of Eighteen
Before anything else, let me just say that this K-drama deserves more attention. It portrays the reality that most 18-year-olds experience in life. From dealing with the pressure of getting good grades to trying to discover what you really want to pursue, the storyline really lived up to its title.
Considering that this is Ong Seong Wu's debut in acting, he totally exceeded our expectations. Also, all the main and supporting cast members equally delivered the success of the show.
7. Love Alarm (2019)
Let me spill the tea for once: This Netflix series might make or break your second lead heart. Focusing on its plot, Love Alarm features the story of technological advancement that allows users to find love through a mobile app.
The drama already has two seasons, so you just need to set your schedule and you can treat yourself to a *binge-watch.* You no longer have to wait for long to answer your curiosity! But beware, both seasons may give you contrasting emotions.
8. Boys Over Flowers (2009)
A classic and certified gem, Boys Over Flowers is that K-drama that *everyone* can remember well. It was a huge hit in the Philippines and many got into the Hallyu world after watching this.
Aired in 2009, this series will forever occupy a special space in our hearts. Of course, no one will forget the handsome F4 and how admirable Geum Jan Di is. You will certainly love everything about this show, plus all the characters have their own stories to tell.
9. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
While most audiences will just see this show as a sageuk (historical series), it's actually a school drama set during the Joseon dynasty. It goes back to the time when women were deprived to study, as well as the sacrifices they do to make ends meet.
Even if you’re not a fan of historical dramas, Sungkyunwan Scandal can possibly be your exception. It also has thrilling political scenes where the characters put themselves in a battle for power.
10. Nevertheless (2021)
Adapted from the I Know But webtoon, Nevertheless is a "hyperrealistic romance" that centers around Na Bi and Jae Eon. The two main characters are a nice pair to watch combined with the *steamy* storyline.
Different from other college or romance K-dramas, this one leans more on showing the complex reality of becoming adults. It shows a realistic depiction of growing up. Moving on from the serious tone, Nevertheless still has heart-fluttering scenes that we all looked forward to when it was aired.
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