Long time no see. March is the season of change for many expats in South Korea. It marks the beginning of a new school year and the ending of many teaching contracts. The bars are doubly packed with both freshman teachers fresh off a plane and veterans vying for one last beer before taking off to parts unknown. Compound this with the usual influx of military recruits and Samsung workers, you’ll likely be meeting three new people for every one you say goodbye to.
March is the season of change and it hits hard. It hits you in your wallet after your seventh going-away party, hits you in your stress receptors as new students grace your classroom (heaven help you if they are three-year-olds who have never seen a foreigner before), and it shrinks your social network. Even for those of us staying, March can be rough.
I’ve had several classes and responsibilities added to my workload this semester since, I was told, the director was beyond pleased with my work teaching English. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean my salary has increased. Only my downtime has decreased, by quite a bit, as has my sanity some days. Also, one of my side jobs has been scaled back quite a bit and I’ve lost a source of income, adding to my stress as I count pennies (Wonnies?) and refresh my student loan statements online. But then a warm day comes, one where I don’t need to even wear a jacket, and I just kind of forget about it.
I’m hoping that April will be back to business as usual and I can re-establish a daily routine. Maybe I’ll even update this blog once a week! (…maybe.)
Happy season of change to you and yours, wherever they may have gone.