Midterms – I hate them. This past weekend, I experienced what I would call the first real midterm season of my educational journey. I’ve been having so much fun here that I sometimes forget that I’m still in school. I was reminded of that fact as I used my entire body and soul to study more than I have ever studied in my entire life. The culture here especially encourages that, as it’s extremely competitive and is radically different from the system back home. One of my Korean friends told me that when exam season comes around, they study until 5 a.m., and have been doing so since middle school. It is a complete 180 from what all the British chaps I’ve met are used to; they say they have never needed to study for their home universities.
In the midst of the hectic midterm season, I got a chance to visit Namsan Seoul Tower, a very famous landmark here in South Korea. It’s located at the top of a mountain and is the second tallest point in Seoul. I didn’t go up to the observatory and only visited the base of the tower, but it was nevertheless a sight to see. I could pretty much see all of greater Seoul which was awesome because the magnitude of the vast city hit me all at once. Living in a city as big as Seoul has in a way changed a lot of fears I have about what the future holds for me. Even though I am not going to be here for much longer, the environment has forced me to be more independent. In a city of almost 10 million people, there is not one person here to hold my hand and guide me besides myself – that’s a beautiful thing to me. Even more beautiful than the sunset I was fortunate enough to catch on the walk down the mountain.