Preface this by saying that technically last Friday was the first day of class, but I only had one class (KLI) which was just a placement test. I went to campus about 1.5 hours before the test and just walked around campus to look around. The back half of the campus is honestly really pretty. The front half is all tall grey concrete buildings. Also, it is super hill-y, so that was a humbling experience. There was a lot of people walking around, which was little nerve racking.
My first class is just an online video, so it was super easy. But then, like halfway through, I realized it was too easy and I had not been paying attention to the lecture video at all. This is an issue with completely online classes—it is so easy to take it too lightly. So, lesson learned for me, I'm going to have to rewatch the long lecture over again and take good notes this time. If you know this is going to be a problem for you, don't take online classes! It's also a better experience to actually go in person, anyways. Not taking more in-person courses is one of my regrets from picking out classes.
After "finishing" the video, my friend and I went to campus early to try the cafeteria food at Yonsei. It was only ~$4 USD for a full meal. There were so many options in the food court: tonkatsu curry, sausage omurice, various pasta, ramen, fried rice, and more. All under 10,000 won. It also tasted pretty good, which is the important part.
Our second class of the day was KLI, so we went over to the building, which is at the end of a really long hill. My class consisted of about 10 students, so it felt very personal. It might've been awkward today, but I'm hoping this means we will all get to know each other that much better. The class was pretty easy. After we finished, my friend and I went shopping around the Sinchon area. We even saw the K-Pop group Purple Kiss busking in front of the Hyundai UPlex Mall.
Today, I had two long classes back-to-back. The first class is a business course with other full-time Yonsei students, so it was a bit intimidating, but everyone just minds their own business. The professor has a bit of a monotone voice, so it was hard to pay attention, I won't lie. Afterwards, I had ten minutes to find a spot for my Zoom class, so I went to three different floors of the business school, but most of the spots were taken. I finally found a spot against the window, thankfully. This one is a class on contemporary Korean cinema, which I thought would be interesting. The professor individually introduced all 70+ students in the class. But I am excited for this class because we watch a movie every week and talk about it and its historical/societal significance on Korea and film.
Tonight was also the cheering event for the YonKo Games that's happening this weekend, so my friend and I went to the bookstore to get a Yonsei t-shirt and grabbed some food before heading over to the Ampitheater. It was packed with students from Korea University and Yonsei University. The exchange students' section was very limited, so we had to sit on the stairs on the edge. It was also a little hard to enjoy because the exchange students didn't know the songs or chants, but it was fun to watch the cheering team and Korea University.
I watched my video lecture early, so I got to sleep in a little more. Nothing particularly exciting today. I just went to KLI again, but this time I took a different route so that the hike up to the building is a little less intense.
I don't have classes on Thursday so I went to explore around Hongdae for the day. I also got my personal color test done, which was something I really wanted to do when I came to Korea. It was a super cool experience, since I was a bit skeptical, but I could really see the differences. Then I met up with my friend from my home school who lives in Korea for dinner and shopping.
My friend called as soon as I woke up saying that she got an extra ticket to the YonKo Baseball Game, which exchange students are originally not able to go to. It was free, and a really big part of Yonsei culture, so I got ready in maybe ten minutes. We took the train to the baseball stadium, and the subway was full of Yonsei and Korea students wearing blue and red. I don't get baseball, but the energy of the game was really fun and upbeat. I had to leave halfway through because I had class to get to. Later found out that Yonsei won!
This was a good first week of the semester. Quite hectic, but lots of things happened, good and less good. I think now for week 2, I need to get into a routine of waking up and doing some work before my classes so that I have my afternoons free. I'm feeling hopeful for the rest of the semester.
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Kyung Yeon Jang
Walking is my favorite mode of exercise and short-distance transportation when the weather is below 75 degrees. I love sudoku, building Legos, and listening to music! Finding hidden gem food spots is a must for me whenever I go somewhere new!