The fact that exchange is coming to an end in two weeks or so makes me rethink a lot of things.
Talked a little to a friend last night, like for around ten minutes on the train back and she mentioned that she made the fullest she had out of it because she knew she only has this one chance to change to mundane nature of life back home and she wanted to bring this change back with her and not let things fall into the same boring pattern.
She asked me if I regretted anything about the last four months and I think I might have said something along the lines of not really, because I did learn many things and stuff like that.
I wasn't really surprised when she asked me that, maybe because I was already showing some inclination towards brooding the topic when I started the conversation with her, and maybe because it's something I ask myself pretty often these days.
The thing is that, I don't know why I came for exchange. I guess, at that point in time, I just wanted to pursue my interests...dongbangshinki mainly, and to get out of the familiar environment that I somewhat regretted getting into since the start. I always felt that perhaps I might have a more interesting, a more fulfilling school-life somewhere else and in a way, I kind of deep-down felt that I was missing out on an important experience in life by not schooling abroad instead.
That changed loads when I first came to Korea, looking back, I probably didn't really enjoy my first month here. I was with the wrong people and I took on the wrong attitude, I kind of felt that I had loads of time and maybe I just needed to get used to the place, it was like boarding school in a foreign country and describing it to my friends today, I saw that it was kind of empty and lacking in certain things, I used to blame it on the company, on the fact that it wasn't really exciting or interesting, but after a while, after being alone and somewhat independent for half a year or so, I know that if I were given a chance to live that period again, I wouldn't need company, I would simply explore the place alone. And sometimes, your own company is the best.
But things changed tremendously in the last three months. The company changed too. I met people from around the world and people from the same world but in a different place. The whole get-out-of-your-country mindset didn't really worked for me, I tried, but not very hard and kn a way I chose to stick with the familiar people, those I can talk to and joke with easily. Made some good friends from other places as well, chinese people...it's natural I swear, but basically remained close and grew really intimate to the fellow schoolmates. We met for the first time in Korea, most of us, but somehow, everything clicked and I found the greatest travelmates I could ever find. Travelled extensively...? ok, maybe not THAT extensively, but spontaneously, and without real purpose. Was loads of fun, had touching moments, funny moments, boring moments and tired moments. Discovered a side of myself I never really knew existed...it was pretty darn amazing.
And maybe for most of the last two months or so, I lived with the idea of getting closer to people you already know. I went out all the time, usually with the same people and grew closer to people I already know. But two weeks before leaving, I realised that I barely ever talked to half my class and two days ago, I found out that this girl I met at orientation liked the same bands and this other girl on my floor that I previously consider a hi-bye neighbour shared amazingly similar views. Met fantastically interesting people just when I was getting ready to leave and maybe because I wanted to maximise th last few weeks and started being more social, I also started regretting not being more social earlier.
Maybe it doesn't really matter, because people will drift apart when they go back to their own lives. I don't even know if I can continue being in contact with those from the same university, much less those from a different one. I'm not a hardworking or consistent person and I drift away and apart more easily than most people. I never really feel the distance...I just forget sometimes and in general, I'm plain bad at keeping in touch...so maybe it didn't matter that I didn't talk to them earlier or made good friends around, because we'll just lose touch eventually.
But it did make me realise that if you take the initiative and make the first move, most people are willing to talk. I realised that when I felt someone was being clique-ish, they probably felt the same way and sometimes all it really takes is a single brave stab at conversation to discover a gaziilion things in common or a common frequency and wavelength. So while I guess I did feel a small stab of regret when I met those lovely people, I also felt that I learnt something that I can bring back home with me. Maybe it doesn't really matter whether you are in a foreign place and meeting foreign people or not. The thing is that, in university at least, and in most aspects of life really, you meet new people everyday and the fact is that it is absolutely no harm to start a random conversation without reason. If you like it, you continue, if not, you move on.
Unlike my friend, I came here not knowing what I really wanted...except maybe to watch a dongbang concert. But at the same time, being here and being out so often rather than cooped up with the computer right after school daily has given me greater perspective. I used to not study because I surf and watch too many videos, now it's because I come back real late half the time. And while staying home used to be a most common thing, I basically get bored after half a day these days and feel a strong desire to get out and talk to someone.
Turning into an extrovert or social creature?
I don't know...will this continue back home?
Never really had a clear direction in life, or rather, I always had a vague idea of success that changed over time. When I was younger, I wanted to be useful, I wanted to be a scientist, in secondary school, I wanted to be an academic, a scholar of political science. After that, there was dongbang, and things changed, sometimes I think I took business because I felt it provides the greatest chance of meeting them. In university, dongbang took up a huge part, along with bl, I used to think it was healthy, because I had a passion for something and maybe because the two took up such a huge portion of my life, I never needed to really think about anything else. But even being a fangirl had always conflicted with my identity and future goals. Part of me thinks that studies are not really important and I should do what I seek in life. The other part swears that I'll regret it because what I want in life is somewhat not the most financially well-off option.
In a way, I always concentrated on maintaining a reasonable, decent but not high standard in school, and put off thinking about the future. But the fact is that I graduate in two years and I turn twenty one in a few months. Being twenty one means alot, it means that you have to make a transition into the adult world soon. I worked before, but always viewing myself as a teenager than a responsible adult. Korea changed many things, it took away my fandom and replaced it with a social life. Or maybe I lost interest in fandom long ago and as just sustaining it to maintain some semblance of passion. Korea also made me realised that I am no longer young. Twenty is plenty and if I want a direction in life, it's time to find it.
Haha, madly long post. More like a rant actually, but really, have been doing loads of thinking these days. Used to miss the old me and my old life alot, but these days I have come to anticipate the future even if I prefer that time stands still.