As I am writing this, I have mixed feelings about how I have in fact been in Korea for about six months. SIX MONTHS. It truly is unbelievable. Time has gone by so quickly and I’m not sure I can describe it in words accurately.
To start, I have slowly been learning more Korean… maybe not as much as I was hoping at this point in time, but I have definitely grown compared to the first day I stepped foot and me today. To be honest, I have had many periods of time where I felt discouraged, but that is mostly because of the kind of a personality I have… which is challenging me to change–not a bad thing! That’s part of discovering yourself. For me, I need to wake up and realize my time here is limited and just put myself out there! That brings me to my next point.
Time has been gone by so quickly. Maybe my scheduling plays a big role here: working from 1:30 pm – 8 pm ish (or later) means I don’t get a lot of free time for my evenings to really do the things I did back home. I also really miss my car, but hey, these are just things that I can (and have) live(d) without. I have needed to think more specifically about my future. I needed to think about why else am I here? What are my intentions of being here? What do I want to accomplish with my time here? I’ve set more specific goals: how much money I want to have before leaving, my travel goals, physical and emotional goals, and also relationship goals (I am currently in a long distance relationship, which is going well, I meant goals as in, what is our next step and how that will happen 🙂 ).
I feel content with the kind of goals I have set and overall I am pretty satisfied with my time here. I feel mostly comfortable (aside from language barrier) with how life works here in Korea. I can already feel how foreign America or other places will seem when my time in Korea is over (gosh, sounds so depressing.. the idea of my time ending here 😦 ). Korea really has shaped me in different ways. I just know my time here is not done yet and that there’s still much to learn and be shaped by!
As far as working here in Korea, I have become a lot more efficient, quicker, and comfortable. I can interact with my students more freely and comfortably while still being effective as a teacher. I have started to include more of a system in my classroom with rewards, discipline, and my own teaching style. I’ve become less shy and thinking more creatively of how to teach my students. Of course, there will always be limitations at a hagwon with how free you can be with lessons and other activities, but I am working with what I have and being adaptable. Working at a hagwon has been an interesting experience, but I am super grateful to have had this chance. My understanding has deepened and my mindset for teaching has grown in different ways. It will be interesting what I will take away from this experience when I am off to my next chapter, but for now, I am still learning and enjoying my time fulfilling my passions here in South Korea. 🙂
This place is home for me right now and am reminding myself to take it all in day by day. Advice I would give myself: don’t be shy and don’t take for granted the time you have here! Each day is a blessing and a day you will never get back. This is your plan A and you did it! Keep doing you. Hwaighting!