Hello, everybody. Bori here with another blog post. I thought I’d keep you all updated on how my 2018 is going, and let me tell you, it’s not that great.
Let me keep it short: all but one of my study abroad friends have finished their program and returned to their respective countries, I almost became homeless for the next semester, and I may lose $400 in the near future.
I had been blessed to have formed some incredible friendships with people from all over the world, many of whom I felt like I’ve been friends with them since childhood due to the closeness of our friendship. It’s still a bit surreal to me that I was able to form friendships where I felt like I could be completely me and not be judged or misunderstood, friendships that I know will continue into my later years even though we are seas apart. Although we still keep in touch quite often, it’s not the same as face-to-face communication as there are now hurdles such as time zone differences among other factors. I still have a great time with the one remaining friend and have met new people, but there remains an emptiness from the sudden stillness.
To make matters worse, I almost became homeless for the next few months. I live in what is known as SK Global House, a dorm for international students. In order to live at SK Global House for multiple semesters, students must apply for an extension ahead of time. The day I remembered about extension applications was the day after the deadline. I frantically emailed the housing office but did not get a response as it was a weekend. To make matters worse, application results would be announced the upcoming Monday so there was no time for me to plead them to make an exception for me. I still went to the housing office on Monday but of course, I was told that all housing arrangements had already been set so there was nothing they could do for me. What they did not tell me is that I could still apply for the regular application (not extension) and be placed on the waitlist. Luckily, my friend who was in the same boat as me was told that and so she passed on the message to me. Yesterday, I received an email saying that I have been approved and so I will no longer be homeless! Praise God! I almost started crying because this was the first good thing that happened to be in such a long time after countless obstacles. I’m not sure whether I will have to change rooms, which means packing up all of my things and finding a place to stay for a few days in between semesters (extension covers the time in between semesters but not regular application). SK Global House also requires TB test papers that prove you are TB negative from the past two months so regular check in would require me to do that again. I still need to talk to housing and ask them if I can just extend now that I have been approved, but I’m just glad the toughest part is done with! Oh, and my friend got approved today, too!
As the cherry on top, my travel visa application for Mainland China was rejected so many times. I already bought my flight ticket for February so it’s quite urgent that I do my application soon. However, every time I went to the service center, they rejected my application due to some minor issue. Even documents that I had no problem with the day before would be rejected the next time I went based solely on the discretion of the employee. Finally, the third time I went, they accepted my application. However, since I am applying as a United States citizen in South Korea, I need at least six months left on my alien registration card. Unfortunately, I only have five months left. That on top of the stress I received from other aspects related to the Chinese tourist visa application made the whole process very frustrating. I have to go back to the service center on Monday to see if I got approved or denied. I’m quite nervous about it since the service center employees were once again iffy about accepting the application and the necessary documents but did so anyways plus the fact that I only have five months left on my ARC. If I get denied, I still have to pay a 20,000 KRW service fee. Plus, I would lose the 370,000 KRW I spent on the plane ticket. It’s all a very frustrating and upsetting process, but I can only wait until Monday to find out. I’m praying for the best!
I also got food poisoning just before the start of the new year so as you can see, 2018 has been quite grand. The situations mentioned above were just some of the major events that have happened all within just the span of a few weeks. You can probably infer that I’ve been depressed lately, but I’m working on trying to stay positive! I pray that things will start to look up!
Here’s to a better 2018!