A still of Min Seo and Ji Won in School 2021 (Image via kbsdrama/Instagram)

School 2021 episode 2: K-Drama addresses ‘I ate pasta today’ trend through a student’s call for help

School 2021 in episode 2 addressed an important issue that teenagers, especially high school students, face today. The worry about the future, led by lack of opportunities in a world driven by nepotism and capitalism, is drawn out.

Trigger warning: 'School 2021' episode 2 discusses suicide


Jin Ji Won (Choi Yi Hyun) succeeded at being appointed as an apprentice in a firm. She had expected to gain real-time experience in carpentry and education on how to work on construction sites. Instead, she was used to fetch coffees and clean the plants that the boss loved. At one point in School 2021, she was extremely frustrated and voiced her frustration to her boss.

However, he did not take her worries into consideration. Instead, he blamed her generation and students in general for being impatient. It was clear that he was abusing his employee, a student intern. However, no one seemed to want to raise a complaint against the company for using students.

Ji Won faces trouble as an intern in 'School 2021'


Students such as Ji Won depend on real time experience to add value to their portfolio. Unlike kids from rich families, who enjoy the privilege of using their parents’ connections, Ji Won had only her experience to depend on. There were more students like Ji Won in Nulji Vocational School who experienced the same kind of abuse during their internship.

School 2021 spotlighted their plight. The worry that came with standing up to bullying and the backlash that students had to face was made clear in the K-Drama. Ji Won is a strong girl and she decided to raise a complaint against the firm that hired her as an intern.

However, her friend Min Seo, who also worked in the same company, did not have the courage that Ji Won did.

Not only did she attempt to stop Ji Won from throwing a fit, but she also stayed behind in the company. She had no option. However, something was off with her when she met Ji Won after. She seemed to be worried in School 2021, but when Ji Won asked her about it, she stated that she was fine.


Who left a letter in Ki Joon’s locker at the Taekwondo club in 'School 2021'?

Instead, Min Seo decided to share her desperation with someone she seemed to have a crush on. She left Ki Joon (Kim Yo Han) an unsigned note with just a symbol of the taekwondo belt that she often used. Initially, Ki Joon believed that the note, which started with “I had pasta tonight”, was left to him by Ji Won.

He was confused because Ji Won also used the symbol to sign a letter that she had written to him when the two were young. When he learned the implications of the phrase “I had pasta tonight,” he hurried to Ji Won’s home to stop Ji Won from hurting herself. "I had pasta tonight" was used on TikTok by people as a call for help by people who experienced suicidal tendencies.


He learned that Ji Won hadn't left the note in School 2021. Despite all the obstacles and hardships that she faced, Ji Won did not seem hopeless enough to hurt herself.

All along, it was Min Seo. Unfortunately, and despite their best efforts, Ji Won and Ki Joon could not find the identity of the person who wrote the note on time. By the time Ji Won realized that the note was left by Min Seo in School 2021, it was too late. Ki Joon and Ji Won heard a loud thud outside of their classroom and it was none other than Min Seo.


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Edited by
Mason J. Schneider
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