This time last year, if you asked me to imagine my first week of university I would’ve described your typical orientation at an Australian University most likely at UTS or UNSW going to different information events, meeting lots of new people and making new friends. I would spend my lunchtimes probably sitting in a park with my friends Mira and Tani because we planned to go to university together in the same city. It would be the middle of summer and we would be drinking lots of bubble tea (preferable from Chatime) to keep cool.
HOWEVER, my first week of university was not the first week that I’d anticipated for most of my high school years. My reality is that I am now living in Busan, South Korea taking online Korean language classes in my tiny dorm room as we near the end of winter. I like to call this my one year intensive Korean culture gap year. Due to the Corona Virus pandemic all our orientation week events were cancelled and classes were delayed by two weeks. This was a huge bummer for me because I’m not the type to go out and look for friends, so in a way, I was waiting for orientation where we would be forced to socialize. Luckily two girls in my dorm welcomed me into their small circle and that’s enough friends for now. I’m also happy to have a roommate because that’s an automatic friend. I’m not going to lie the transition from only child personal space to living in a confined space with another person was really difficult for the first few days but we’ve worked things out now and I couldn’t choose a better roommate (aha let’s hope she doesn’t find this blog >_<)
Apart from Roommates, adjusting to the new classes was also difficult. Because of the virus, we’ve had to start with online classes and we will continue with these online classes for the next two weeks or until the government decides that it’s safe for universities to open again. Not being in a physical classroom was strange, there is no way of getting to know my classmates or getting the teacher’s attention. With online classes you can’t hide at the back of the classroom or shine in the front row; your face is basically a small box amongst many other small boxes on her computer screen. So it can sometimes be stressful when you aren’t getting enough attention because your little box is being over-looked.
On the other hand, one advantage of these online classes is that I don’t have to leave my room so getting ready in the morning is easier and there is no travelling required. I can basically wake up, sit at my table and start classes or even do my classes in the comfort of my warm bed. So far, the online classes have been fun but I don’t want them to continue for too long as I feel like I can absorb more information and focus better in a physical classroom.
Here is a small extract of my daily routine which I’ve been trying to improve for the last week.
7:15 – wake up, roll around and complain about waking up
7:30 – get out of bed, shower, de-clutter desk
8:00 – Breakfast
8:20 – Take a power nap or study vocabulary
8:50 – get ready for class, boot up the laptop and open Zoom software
9:00- 1:00 – Online classes for four hours with a 10-minute break every 50 minutes
1:30– 2:00 – Lunch with friends at a restaurant on campus
3:00 -6:00 – A mixture of homework, lazing around, running
7:00- 8:00- Look for some dinner (menu for this week: cereal)
8:00-10:00- Homework and study
That’s roughly what’s happened every day this past week and is probably what will happen as long as online classes continue.
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