Midterms week is here and while studying has definitely been on my mind, another thing on my mind is how this event has officially marked the halfway mark of the term.
I must say though, in no way does that mean I am a pro at navigating through Korea. There are still so many instances where I find myself confused and to be learning new interactions every day. I’ve come to embrace the awkward that comes with being in a foreign country, like the unique food selection, people’s mannerisms, and being literally illiterate. Hard things to get used to, but you find yourself forced to get used to it.
Things quickly became routine for me– I’ve begun taking the same paths to and from class and finding cozy study spots for me to hang out between classes. I’ve found go-to places for the weekends and food places that were trusty and cheap. It’s easy to fall into being comfortable/complacent with what I know is good, but I still push myself to travel and explore new places when I get the chance. I have my trusty locations, but I make it a point to try at least a handful of new food places a week! I tell myself: hey, you’re studying abroad- this is a rare opportunity, get out there!
There’s so many things to reflect on in the last two months. My major goals of traveling abroad was to just explore the country and grow as a person.
I’d like to think that I’ve done a fair amount of exploring Seoul, or at least the major districts in Korea. Myeongdong, Gangnam, Hongdae, and Dongdaemun have been visited countless times (with and without company). No matter how many times I visit the destinations, there’s always more to see and things I find myself wanting to come back to explore. I’ve even gone to as far as Busan– there are further places in Korea that I have in mind, but I need the time to make it happen!
As a person, I think I’ve grown a lot and made a couple of realizations. It’s something that living alone for the first time does to you. Aside from the basic things, I’ve realized what kind of person I am when I am alone and when I am with others. Being in a foreign country has tested my bravery and pushed me to feel uncomfortable at times. Growth in a person is what you do in difficult times, and trying your best to come out on top. Even when I struggle with the hardships, I think I’ve learned ways to cope with it.
We’re only at the halfway mark, but it’s amazing how much time has passed and what being abroad has done to me. I wonder what the second half has in store for me.