Helo welcom 2 my websight
In only a few short days it will have been exactly one year since I arrived here in Korea confused, tired and alone.
I still vaguely remember walking around the airport looking for the KGSP group, worrying about real life in Korea as opposed to the tourist life I’d experienced before and worrying if I would be able to get along with the other students since I’m not exactly what you’d call a social butterfly.
Now, one year later, living in Korea is as familiar (though naturally still not nearly as convenient) as living in the Netherlands and I’ve made dozens of friends, some of which became so close to my heart that it hurts to let them go. I’ve experienced the awkwardness of the first few days trying to fit in with the group; survived the splitting of said group into a dozen sub-groups; been through the adrenaline filled period of new everythings; the exciting times when everything was interesting and studying seemed like something I could do forever; dealt with the time when those feelings faded away and made way for weariness, discomfort with the dormitory, school rules and cynicism with Korean teaching methods; learnt so many new things when I moved out of the dorm to start a real life by myself; lived in poverty for a few months trying to build up a life on a shoestring budget while cutting into my money from home and finally settled down into a routine that was as maddening as the routine back home making me jaded about this entire thing until I finally realized how lucky I am to be here and to be given this amazing chance.
A lot can happen in one year and looking back a lot, in fact, did.
But even looking back, it still doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for 12 months already.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve made some bad choices or haven’t used my time to the fullest.
However, the one thing I will never regret is meeting all the people I know here.
Now that the school year has come to an end, everyone is packing up and moving to their Universities, leaving a hole in my life that I hadn’t anticipated. Of course I knew it would be different, but in these last weeks during which I have been meeting at least someone almost every day I realized how empty my life here will be without all of them. My friends have always made my days brighter and have always made even the hardest times worthwhile, and I want to thank them for that. Even though we are still in the same country, it won’t be the same when I can’t just call them and have dinner with them, go to the noreabang with them or just sit around at home watching a movie with them. Every one of them has improved my life in their own little way. There is one person whose absence will no doubt hit me especially hard in the coming months.. My 형 who has taken care of me in one way or another ever since the beginning when we were two ajusshis living in the dorm sneaking in whiskey and beers. Although I never expected it when I came here, I have met someone who, despite being from a completely different continent, feels like a brother to me.
So yes, I guess I came here to study and to learn more about Korea but I think that in the course of doing that I’ve learned more about myself and society in general as well.
I wish all of my friends a successful and wonderful time in their Universities and I just hope we’ll all be able to meet again.