Well, well, well. We’ve reached the finale of this season of my time in Korea 🙁 Here we’ll dive into my feelings and journey as a whole.
To start, I want to just say that this was the best experience I have had in my entire life (although, growing up in Mississippi, there wasn’t much to beat anyway…). I met so many wonderful people (a good number of them at the very end sadly), had so many new, enlightening experiences, and ate some very delicious food along the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience if I planned it (although, if I did plan it, Jeju would’ve been removed you know what you did).
And to think, this spiraled into course by this random, slightly weird girl stalking me on Instagram and trying to find food together. Without that, I wouldn’t have met another one of my favorite people who always gets my memes and does irl “smash or pass” when we go places. I also wouldn’t have invited Jackie (who was my rock for grounding me in the many, MANY troubles that arose this trip) out with us where I would’ve been introduced to her roommate who I would spend countless hours talking to about Thai BLs, casting random people on the street into our imaginary drama, and making an array of dishes in a sandwich maker that weren’t meant to be made in there. I also wouldn’t have met her friend who makes the most random jokes and doesn’t realize it and also is the most clumsy person I’ve ever met. I also wouldn’t have met this short redhead girl who had so much energy and always knew how to have a good time but also cared so much about everyone else feeling good too. I also wouldn’t have met that weird stalker girl’s friend who reminded me of home and made me cackle because we made references only we knew we would understand (she knows why). I would like to note that I also wouldn’t have had covid thanks to stalker girl, but we’re past that now (we’re not 😊). I also wouldn’t have wanted to try going out and partying in Korea which would lead to me finding out that I am actually more sociable than I give myself credit for. I would also not have met so many wonderful people that were so kind and fun (and who were also very lively without the addition of happy juice). I also would not have went on such crazy adventures and trips to places I had not prior thought to go to but had fun nevertheless (but one of which will always be on my list of regrets, again Jeju you know what you did). So much came from the slightest of interactions.
I did not believe such a trip would change me as much as my time in Korea. I am eternally grateful for this experience and can’t wait to see what other experiences will change me like this as well. To anyone thinking about going to a foreign country, even if it’s not for studying, I would definitely encourage you to take that leap and just do it (there’s a corny joke about Nike here but let’s continue). You never know which one moment will lead to a plethora of relationships, experiences, and times you will think about forever. Even when there are moments that bring you down or trouble you, these are exactly what they are “moments” and you shouldn’t let these sour your overall thinking about the experience. As bad as Jeju did me in, I still found great things to enjoy about it like the…. and the…. ANYWAY- I’ll end my rambling about encouraging you to study abroad or visit a foreign, bottom line is do it and see what happens.
Before I end off, I would just like to say thank you to each and every person I met in Korea that offered me at least 1 second of happiness and/or comfort. I can not express my gratitude enough to you for how much you have touched me and made me realize more about who I am as a person and what I am capable of. Also, I know my korean professors won’t read this but 잘 가르쳐 주셔서 감사합니다, 선생님들. 이번 학기 전에는 무서웠지만 선생님 덕분에 의미 있는 학기였어요. 저는 한국어를 많이 배웠고 듣기와 말하기 실력이 늘었어요. 앞으로도 계속 열심히 공부하겠습니다!
And with that, I will end this episode and season of my time in Korea. Also, YES, this is only a season finale because I will return one day soon (that is a promise to you and me). But, until then, to you the reader, thank you for coming along with me throughout this time. And, to Korea, we’ll be in touch! *cues the credits that give all editor, writer, and creative manager credit to me*