Most of the challenges that I faced during these times were conflicts within myself.
Without the presence of my parents, I had to take responsibility for my time, money and actions. At first, I enjoyed this newly earned freedom. I could do whatever I wanted without anyone there to tell me other wise. However, with this independence, I had to constantly discipline myself to study and manage my time. I did not like having all the responsibility without there being anyone (usually my parents) to blame for my failures and mistakes. I thought it was unfair that all my other friends still were under the comforts of their parents, when I was alone isolated and uncared for. The worst part was when it was time for exams. With my host sister lazily watching T.V. with the volume on way too loud, and my host mother constantly yelling at her to do her homework, I had to shut myself up in my room and study. I soon resolved to going to the library to study for the exams, however it was still very difficult for me to let go of the sense of isolation and loneliness.
The difficult lifestyles between me and my host family did not help either. Although we did try our best to be considerate of each other, clashes were sill inevitable. The first challenge I faced was food. Though I generally have a strong stomach for foreign cuisines my host mother’s love for coriander and her decisions to deep-fry everything was overpowering. I eventually managed to accustom to her cooking. But at first I had to appease my hunger with fast food and other snacks after school. Another difference between us was the time we went to bed. While I am a morning type of person who likes to get up early to study, my host family was the opposite and would watch TV well past midnight. No earplugs, not helpings of caffeine could help my situation and I eventually had to talk to host mother about it.
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