Twenty Five Twenty One – Parents, friendships and dreams

Twenty Five Twenty One: Lessons on Adulting Learnt from Watching Korean Rom-Com

We all fell in love with the characters of Twenty Five Twenty One. As the show has wrapped up, we wanted to give some spotlight to the very relatable adulting moments on the show. Let’s talk about what they are.


My parents do not understand me!


Throughout the show, we see Hee-do’s strained relationship with her mum after the passing of her dad. They’ve probably argued about everything possible, with the biggest being the one surrounding her wanting to switch schools to continue fencing and her mum asking her to just quit if she is not good at it. Cue the cold wars, emotional waterworks and shouting matches.

Hands up if this hits too close to home. When we were younger, we had our lives planned for by our parents. As we grow up, we start realising that our preferences and dreams can differ from that of our parents – sometimes greatly. It can be frustrating when parents force their goals on us, or worse, hurt us with their words when they question our dreams.

What can I do about this?

While Hee-do may think that her mum really hates her, as viewers we can actually see the bigger picture. Lets think along these lines.  Parents worry and prioritise different things from us sometimes in their bid to protect us. They might struggle with knowing how to communicate this to us because those can also be very complex feelings. Adding into the mix, we might have different priorities that they do not understand. So maybe the fear and frustration unfortunately bubbles into unhealthy ways to communicate with us – such as in a demanding tone or punishment to get  things done their way.

The one thing that has worked for better communication with parents is understanding their love languages. It’s easy to overlook the little clues of love such as the nice things that they do for us like sending us to school (acts of service) or buying that birthday gift (gifting) that we’ve hinted about. There are a total of five love languages and different people prioritise different ones – it’s no wonder that sometimes it can feel like they don’t hit the mark! In Twenty Five, Twenty One, Hee-do’s mum ended up secretly asking a school coach to take Hee-do onto the team – that reflects acts of service as her love language.

 Hee-do needed her mum to be there for her in her happiness and sad moments, signaling that quality time was her important love language. Communicating our love languages to our parents completes the circle so that we can give and recieve love optimally.

Often our past shapes us in a certain way and finding out more about their childhood could really help seal that understanding. Try asking them some of these questions. This will certainly help with understanding why they react in certain ways in times of conflict. I guess our parents are not any different from us as they are a product of their experiences both good and bad.

So with that, we’ll take a deep breath and try a new and healthier way to communicate and understand.

With friends, I can do anything! 

If there’s anything we love the most from the show, it is how friendship bloomed beautifully between the characters of the show. From idol-fan to enemies to best of friends, we see how Hee-Do and Yu-rim melted the ice between them caused by misunderstanding and they grew to lean on each other for support. Similarly, Seungwan and Jiwoong grew to be close with the girls and made many precious memories together.

What can we learn from their friendships?

In the show, we see that the characters come from very different backgrounds. This can have an impact on the way that they behave, such as Yu-rim showing great dislike for Hee-do who came from a more well-to-do background.

However, both competitive sportspersons found an understanding through shared experiences and common understanding. On a final touching note when they met in the final match, we saw how they learnt to fight hard for what each wanted but still be geniunely happy for that friend who won and sad for that friend who lost the match.

As we grow up through adolescence, having meaningful friendships help to give us the support that we need to tide through the difficult periods. Sometimes all it takes for a friendship to blossom is to speak with kindness and empathy .

I don’t know what my dream is!

Twenty Five Twenty One was more than just a drama about the daily ebbs of life. What was so beautiful about it was that we saw each character chasing their own dreams and forging their own paths. Hee-do managed to carve a successful career out of fencing through the support of her community and her own hard work. Jiwoong got to launch his fashion business and Seungwan managed to get into the college of her choice.

What is my strength?

Growing up can be seriously confusing as we struggle to understand who we are and trying to decide who we want to become. As a teen, Jiwoong might’ve appeared to his teachers as a kid who doesn’t bother with his studies or anything in life. However, we see that by finding his strengths through his love for fashion, he was able to grow into the role of an entrepreneur and launch a successful business.

We are the main protagonist of our life. By using our strengths we can get to know the positive traits which we map into potential career paths. There’s is really no right or wrong to any of our dreams no matter what they are. It’s really a matter of making the best use of our personal strength to dare to dream without limits!

If you are feeling confused about your identity or feel insecure about who you are, you are not alone. Adulting is a time of change for all of us. Read our article on Problems with Adulting to understand what you are going through.

Photo credits: TVN


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