When I was young, I used to dream of living alone independently. Now, I am proud to say that I have made my dream come true. Even though it is just for a while but this is what I had been dreaming of for a long time.
As a girl who grew up in a well-taken care family in a capital city, I had never experienced living alone. Some students left their hometowns and live in rented houses in the city while pursuing their degrees. I had always wanted to live a life like them. Actually, I want to experience every kind of living whether it is comfortable, adventurous, or hard. As I always said, life is a journey, everything is a part of an adventure. I am sure not many people want to have a boring journey. Neither do I.
Being a KGSP recipient, besides gaining academic experiences, I have also gained numerous life experiences. Well… I keep saying this again and again. Sometimes, I feel like time is going too fast. It was just like yesterday but it has been a year already. Soon, I will graduate and life in Korea will come to an end. It is sad to even just think about it.
Last year, I got a chance to experience living in a dormitory with a roommate from another country. I never experienced staying in a room with someone even with my relatives or siblings let alone with a stranger so it was a great and unforgettable experience. I learned a lot from that. Living with a complete stranger and sharing a space together is not really easy and it is not hard too if we know how to.
This year, however, I could choose to stay in a dormitory too but I did not. I chose to live outside. I am living in a small house that Korean called a “One Room Apartment”. It is a small room which has everything in it. It is a whole new level of experience for me. Living independently means you are responsible for everything by yourself even little things that you have never thought of. For example, living in a dorm or with family, I did not have to care about water because there was a water dispenser. Now, I have to buy water by myself. I am also responsible for electricity, gas, and so on. If there is something wrong, I need to know what should I do and who should I contact. Last but not least, living alone in Korea does help me to practice my Korean language skill because I have to communicate with my landlord quite often. I am so glad to gain all these experiences.
I love the feeling of locking the door, walking down the stair, going to school, and vice versa. I love how I can turn on the music and work without disturbing someone else in the room. I love the feeling of staying late at night and going to bed without worrying that someone is still working. I love standing on the balcony at night and looking at the sky, I love watching a movie at night until 1 or 2 am and then sleeping until 11 am. Lol – To sum up, I love the feeling of being self-controlled.
However, it also has disadvantages as well. Naturally, everything has pros and cons. Its disadvantage is, first of all, the expense. Living alone does cost a lot, especially in Seoul. I have to pay for the deposit, the rental fee, electricity, and gas. Another disadvantage is a lack of communication. Unlike living in a dorm, living alone is hard to make friends or hang out with other people for the first time. When you live in a dorm, you have a roommate, neighboring friends, and other students whom you occasionally meet in the lobby, elevator, or washing room. It was a bit hard for me to make friends with new people when I live outside. I can only meet them in class or at school. It is a bit lonely though. So before class started, I normally hung out with my Cambodian friends from other universities in Seoul. Now that the semester started, I hope to make more friends and spend more time together with them.