Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life Decisions...

With only 3 months left in Korea, I'm starting to seriously think about my life after Korea. Part of me really wants to come back. I mean, life here is easy. The pay is good, the travel is good, my school will give me an apartment, not to mention now the boyfriend is here.

The other half of me is stressing about whether or not this is something I want to spend my life doing. I like teaching. For a while I was seriously thinking of going into ESL as a career and getting my degree in it.. so I could get a job anywhere in the world, not just East Asia. I still haven't abandoned that thought. But, on the other hand, my degree is in Environmental Science. I know I don't want to work in a lab anymore... been there, done that... but some other career in that field would be more beneficial to me in the long run.

I do have one strength towards getting a job in that field, and that is that I speak Spanish quite well. I'm not bilingual, but certainly better than your average environmental scientist. Getting involved in some sort of project in Latin America would be amazing. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything like that. And every day I spend here in Korea I loose more and more Spanish. I mean... it comes back when I try, but the less I try, the more I lose.

I have really enjoyed learning Korean, and I've gotten to a point where I think if I had one more year going to a private school like I am now, I could be at a high conversational level... maybe good enough to keep up with conversations with my Korean friends. I want to keep studying Korean... but really.... in the end, what good will speaking Korean do for me... career wise?

Learning another language like Chinese or French... or even Japanese would be far more helpful to me in the long run. Chinese being highest on my list of priorities. I could go teach in China for a year, and try to learn Chinese. Or, just try to find a job in the Environmental Sector in China and learn Chinese, which would be even better.

Oh... I don't know what to do. I know I don't want to be stuck at home doing some boring old job, that's for sure. Knowing me, I'll probably just come back to Korea for another year. Upside? My college loans will be completely paid off soon if I do that (less than $9,000 left to go and only just over a year after graduation). Then I'll be debt free and able to do whatever I want, even if it means taking a job that pays next to nothing, just for the experience.

Well, if you've read to the end of my ramblings, you're quite the dedicated reader. If you have any suggestions, please.. please... let me know... I'm getting a bit more stressed by the day, but it's still to early to put in applications anywhere... not that I've found any appealing jobs anyway...


  1. It sounds like it would be cool for you to stay another year, paying off loans is a plus! But we miss you over here!

  2. Sounds like you want someone to talk you into staying in Korea. I'm not going to do that, but I will say there a lot of worse options. You're young, you have a specific degree (I taught AP Enviro for several years, it is the toughest AP Exam), you have ambitions. Still, you are gaining a kind of experience here that is hard to match--your Spanish is the least of your worries, I think--and making money hard to match in the States right now. Good luck!

  3. Hmmmm. I've been on this planet a long time, longer than I care to admit. One of the things I have learned is that "life is a journey, not a destination." No matter how much you may want to plan for the future, life has a path all its' own. The secret is in knowing that you are on that path, the right path. Trying to plan out your life, to get to point B by time X does not work. Most people who do that end up living a wasted life and an unhappy life because once you get to point B, it may not be what you expected, and that happens a lot.

    You will know the right path of your life if the events that occur are "easy". And, by that I mean that things fall your way almost without effort, without even trying. If you have to struggle to attain something, that something was not meant to be. And, even if you get it in the end, it turns out to be problematic in one way or another. All you have to do is look at all the people who get what they always wanted, but are in so many ways unfulfilled because their "destination" is not what they expected. They often lament the fact that they were so much happier when they were... The journey, the "hungry years".

    I find that the main thing in life is to be happy where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, what you have. If you have all those things now, relish them, enjoy them, live them, and don't throw it all away for an uncertain future that may, or may not, be the right "path". You're on the "journey" now if this is it. The "destination" is unimportant at this rate. This is the secret of life!

  4. Thanks for the support! CGI Visionary, I have always believed that too... I guess these are things that I know, but I can't help worrying even still. I guess I just want to know the options out there. I love Korea, and have no problem staying another year, but I don't want to do it because it's the only option. I know there are other things I can do out there and I want to make sure that I explore all the options. Korea is the easy way out. I don't want to gyp myself out of a great experience just because I take the easy route. There's still 3 months left. My life has always been a series of fortunate events, so I'm hoping my luck continues. Something always pans out for me in the end.

  5. You're very welcome Jo-Anna. Follow the path laid before you and you cannot go wrong. As you said, your "life has always been a series of fortunate events". Where ever it may lead you, just remember to enjoy the moments during your journey. And, try not to worry about the things you really have no control over. That's another secret to life.

  6. Hi,

    I'm getting a MA in CHinese Studies. I want to study Env Policy in China. You can use your Env Sci degree in Korea if you want. Korea has quite an extensive library on Env Sci at the moment, but most of their research is published only in Korean. Lucky for you Korean has only one alphabet and no Chinese characters. That means that spending another year in Korea learning the language will do you more good than if you went to China, or worse, Japan- Where the written langauge is even harder to grasp.

    Just some food for thought.

  7. come back here a live with me in Vermont for a year or two. btw, this is jennie =)