By the end of last week, I was exhausted from studying. It felt like all I’d been doing lately was problem set after problem set, assignments, and readings. “I feel like I’ve been studying even more than I used to back home,” I exclaimed to my friend. And with midterms still two weeks down the road, there seemed to be no end to the study sessions in sight.
Balancing academics with other activities while on exchange had always been a concern. In the past, midterm season usually brought everything to a temporary halt. But with my time in South Korea limited to a semester, I didn’t want to “waste” any time like that.
As I considered my topic for this week’s blog post, I listed out everything I’d done for the past week – and was almost surprised with how much I managed to do.
The only thing worse than a pop quiz is a 9AM Monday morning pop quiz. I tried to forget about it by taking a trip to Starfield COEX Mall and wandering around the interactive SMTOWN Museum. (It almost worked.)
I stayed on campus all day; I went to class and practiced with the SNU Judo club in the evening.
October 9th is 한글날(Hangeul Day), a national holiday commemorating the invention of the Korean alphabet. Prior to settling in at a 24HR study café, we hit up Grain in Yeonnam-dong for some brunch.
After the quiz in my morning class, I studied in a café on campus.
Another campus day; since Wednesday was a holiday, we had a make-up class.
We watched a performance of traditional Korean music at the National Gugak Center, then strolled around the accompanying museum.
After checking out a pop-up store for the boy group SuperM (a line of fans waiting for limited edition merchandise snaked along the building, around the corner, and down the block), we closed out the day with some KBBQ.
I visited Changdeokgung, one of the five grand palaces, with a group of friends. If you wear 한복 [hanbok], tradition Korean clothes, you can enter the palace for free.
Looking back on everything I did, it was a considerably eventful pre-midterm week. I assure you, having prepped for 3 quizzes and an assignment, I spent an ample amount of time studying. Back in Canada, I wouldn’t have thought I had the time to do anything else. But this time, I somehow found time I didn’t know I had to go out and do things. It’s definitely something I’ll have to keep in mind during my last semester back at U of T. I only wish I had gone on exchange sooner.