Helo welcom 2 my websight
2016 has come to an end, and I’m sitting here wondering why I only managed to write 8 posts in an entire year while my life is undoubtedly much more interesting now than it was back in the Netherlands.
A lot of it comes down to time, and perhaps more importantly energy, I suppose.
I started attending the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies early in this year, after having an incredibly difficult uphill battle to even make it into the department I wanted (or needed) to join in the first few months. When I finally made it in, I quickly realized how hard going to university is in Korea, especially compared to the Netherlands.
Honestly, I had quite a lot of time in the first semester and I mostly filled that with dating and wasting the little money I had. In that sense, I suppose I’ve grown up quite a lot in 2016, which is kind of a weird thing to realize at 29 years old.
In the second semester I stopped throwing away money and started working to cover my living expenses a bit, while at the same time dealing with the increasing workload taking four courses at HUFS brought with it. Not a week went by in which I didn’t have one or two presentations and some form of paper to submit, and by now my academic output in this semester alone puts everything I wrote in the four years I studied law in the Netherlands to shame. Well…quantity-wise, I mean. This semester there were so many assignments from so many professors who all treated us as if theirs was the only course we were taking that I spent many a night just churning out page after page in the hopes of just finishing something, anything, on time to turn it in. So although I’m not really proud of most of what I’ve produced this past semester, I am proud that I got through it without any major problems and without losing faith in my own abilities and with results that were worth the effort.
So…yeah..that’s probably why I didn’t post a lot during this year. It wasn’t that I really didn’t have any time, it was just that I used that free time to relax and try to forget about all the bullshit a bit. I built a new computer which has barely touched any games and got a giant TV that has been used almost every day since it arrived to watch movies, shows and anime to calm my mind at night. I also took full (though, in retrospect, perhaps not full enough) advantage of living in Seoul by visiting lots of Starcraft events this year, to the point where the guys working at the Gangnam Nexon Arena actually recognized me, knew the team I liked and told me “long time no see” after I came to see a match after mid-term period ended. Although it was a shame that Gary (my Canadian friend who got me into professional Starcraft in the first place) couldn’t usually join, Starcraft and especially Proleague really made my year a lot more fun. Although Blizzard and KeSPA joined forced to effectively snub out the entire Starcraft 2 scene in Korea starting 2017, I am grateful for at least getting to experience what it’s like to really love a sport and care about the people and teams that play it.
I’m also grateful, of course, for all those wonderful people I’ve met previously in Daegu and the new friends I got to know at my university. Even though I’ve never been especially good at making friends, and it’s been increasingly hard to hang out with everyone due to their (and my) schedules, I would have probably gone mad without them and I dread the day they (or I) will have to leave. My old friends from Daegu are what make Korea the Korea that I love, and my classmates have always been there to help me adjust to the weirdness of Korean university life, give me advice, or hang out and talk about less heavy things during the less stressful times.
As I am writing this post, I’m going through my photos from the past year, and feel a bit sad to see that I didn’t really do a lot. If there’s one ‘resolution’ that I’d like to strive for in 2017 it would be to enjoy life, and Korea, a bit more.
There was of course one period in which I enjoyed this amazing country to its fullest though, and that was when my parents and brother came to visit. I hadn’t seen them since I left the Netherlands in August 2014, so seeing them ‘in real life’ as my mom always calls it was nothing short of amazing. Thinking back of that time, it still feels a bit like a dream. A dream that I should really finish putting on this blog sometime soon but…I’m worried ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
All in all, 2016 was pretty rough, but I never once regretted coming here and giving it my all.
Let’s hope that 2017 will bring more unforgettable days with friends, amazing events that can only be seen in Korea and, because this is Korea after all, more A+es with less work.
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