There is an idiom, “beat one’s head against the wall,” and it is used to say that someone wastes one’s time trying hard to accomplish something that is very difficult to do so. People usually try to avoid such difficult challenge, but in UIUC, there is a group of students who are facing challenges bravely, and we call it a ‘Rhythm Nation.’
‘Rhythm Nation’ is an event-planning organization, consists of ten members who have their own unique individualities. Since there is not many solid entertainment culture at UIUC, ten members of ‘Rhythm Nation’ have put their heads together to create an innovative and fresh “playground” for international students.
Last summer, ‘Rhythm Nation’ opened an international student party ‘PANTONE’ with the University of California at San Diego and the University of Minnesota to strengthen a unity between international students. On the strength of a success of ‘PANTONE’, ‘Rhythm Nation’ casted a famous Korean star, Hong Seok Cheon and hosted a ‘Talk Concert’ with him. The members said it was not so easy to cast a famous star, because they are just student who do not have any money and supporters. To cast a celebrity, they need to pay a high guarantee, and since ‘Rhythm Nation’ started its challenge without an initial investment, the members tried to contact more than 100 companies for a sponsorship.
From looking for a sponsor to financial management, every step of planning event was an unusual experience, so the ‘Rhythm Nation’ members have gone through lots of difficulties. The members said they still cannot forget their feeling when they had first meeting with an advertising manager of a company. Compared to their first experience, all the members have improved in performing their tasks.
After two events that were hosted last summer, ‘Rhythm Nation’ hosted another event in Champaign on March 17th. This time, ‘Rhythm Nation’ chose a theme as hip hop, because hip hop culture is attracting young students’ attention. Again, ‘Rhythm Nation’ casted a famous Korean hip hop musician called Microdot, and with him, the members of ‘Rhythm Nation’ tried to help the students to get out from their mundane routine of campus lives.
Since the members faced so many huge challenges while planning it, the event on this March 17th is especially memorable to ‘Rhythm Nation.’ A day before the event, they had to change a venue of the event, because of the university construction and its safety issues. They had to find another venue right away and deliver the new information to the audiences. However, ‘Rhythm Nation’ members said this problem is just a tip of the iceberg.
The member of ‘Rhythm Nation’ say they are challenging from scratch. They sometimes face many big and small obstacles and made some loss. However, just to be in a complacent daily routine, we are still too young. Although they face many difficulties and some unexpected situations, and although the results become a scar, the members of ‘Rhythm Nation’ do not stop challenging. ‘Rhythm Nation’ is truly showing what a ‘youth’ is.
Jess Kang / Intern Reporter