Life in the Dormitory
Student life will never be complete without living in the dormitory and living it up independently. The situation though goes to a rhythm where rather than living in a dormitory in another city, you are living on a dormitory in another country and with another culture. Thinking about it, you can either be scared of whats going to happen or just be overwhelmed by the spontaneity of it. The thing is it is a challenge for anyone to live in a dormitory alone. In my experience of living for a year and a half in our dormitory, it was really both a challenge and a great experience. What more is that ours was really far from the city and the only thing we could see are wide hectare of fields, a big mountain and the calmness of rural life. I guess exchange students and foreigners who were accepted among the rural universities in Korea would truly understand this.
Like any other dormitories that we are familiar with, ours is definitely complete with all the facilities that can make living convenient in a general way. Let’s not say convenient cause our dormitory was really far from civilization and we enjoyed the fridays and Sundays that we can ride the school bus for free so that we can just hang around Daejeon. But our dormitory was a haven and a shelter for us nomads of Korea. Our dormitory was situated in the complex of the school, with a convenient access to the school buildings, library, courts and the serene beauty of the place. The dorms are separated for girl’s and boys and is intertwined with the basement where we have a big cafeteria, studying rooms, a gym, a karaoke room, computer rooms, hang out places and the laundry room. Our lives would then be found only in this situation where we enjoy what we have for we can’t really go and have a night life somewhere. Well, couples would date on the hidden fields around the school, walk or kiss and makeup at night or do something. But this was how our life became.
We share a room with a Korean as it was one of the requirements and it helps with us on learning Korean as well. We have to share the room with them, share the bathroom with them and basically live everyday with them and share with them with everything. What’s more challenging is that since as a foreigner abroad, you won’t be able to have the comforts of home and having a mother to just a call away. So you won’t be able to have your parents come visit every weekend, ask them to clean your room, do the laundry for you and ring them immediately if you lost your allowance. Baby-fed adults won’t be able to live nicely in this environment. Unlike our Korean roommates, who comes home every weekend for a home-cooked meal. That was really a challenge. But that’s the point of it.
The thing about living alone in the dormitory, we already signed up for living with a new person whom totally far from what we used to be with and it’s upon us on how they treat us and make our lives comfortable even with all the rhythmic discomforts. Remembering the fact that we all signed up for living in Korea, we shouldn’t complain on why we have to take off our shoes just before we can step on our room, why we can’t use all the tissue in the bathroom, why we need to have our own than theirs and why we have to have sleepless nights too as they study for their exams.
The point of learning culture is by adapting thoroughly and becoming one but still not forgetting who you are.