March 1, 2015

I just don't know

【Self-pitying post incoming!】

A lot of thoughts are going through my head right now and I think I'm finally running out of brain capacity.
If I have to continue leading this busy lifestyle, I need to spew my worries or I'm going to snap.. and it seems my blog is the best place for me to do it. 

Lately, especially these past few days, there has been a lot of talk regarding what we want to do next.
In 117 days, all of the 3rd graders at my school will graduate - including me - and from there on we have to find out where to go next.

People (my family, friends, classmates, and even teachers!) keep asking me what I want to do after graduation and the truth is.... I JUST DON'T KNOW, OKAY?!??!
Never in my life has there been a time where I have wished so much for time to stop. To stop and let me think.
You see, I want to attend Korean studies (a study in the Korean language, culture, and history). Or.. at least that's what I think I want for now.
I used to think that other peoples' opinions on MY future didn't matter... but every time I answer this question, people look at me as if they have seen a ghost. 
Their puzzled looks are often followed by questions such as: "but why Korea?", "is there a future in that?", and "what jobs can you get?". 
I can't answer those questions out of the blue and it makes me unsure of myself. Why Korea?... well.. I find it interesting. I thought this was the way for me to go... but every time I get that look I ask myself "am I doing the right thing?"

When people graduate from my kind of school they usually waver between these choices: 

  • Stop there and just get a normal job
  • Take a year (or two) off
  • Continue their studies at a university or any other further education 

Let's take these choices into consideration and look at the possibilities~

Stop and get a normal job:
NO. Just no! To get into university here it is required that you complete the kind of school I attend now. Most higher paying jobs also require it (+ university) so my kind of school opens a lot of doors for you in the future. However, if you decide not to further your studies, you've pretty much wasted 3 years of your life.

Take a year off:
I could do that and I have considered it (more thoughts on it in THIS post)A bunch of my old friends did it too. Some worked an entire year to save up money. Others worked 6-9 months and spent some of the money traveling around Thailand, New Zealand, Burma, etc. for the rest of the year. 
This is the best choice according to my mom's perspective. 

Taking a year off could be a good idea since it'd provide me more time to think about my future. Maybe, somehow, I'd one day wake up knowing what to do with my life. But I doubt a miracle will happen just like that.

Aaaaand to to that, I will need a full time job. I've been looking for a job for a LONG time now without luck and I'm afraid I might not be able to find anything decent. 
Another minus is that, right now, I'm a year behind in the way that people my age are supposed to be on their first year of University already. I discussed this view with my school counselor back in December and, like he said: 

"From how I see it, you might be a year behind time wise but you definitely are a year ahead when it comes to experience. The experience you earned while being abroad is something that all the other Danish students will have to earn now. So really, the choice is yours".

Somehow I agree with him. Somehow not. Yes, I have a lot more experience than my peers so somehow I'm ahead... but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm turning 20 this year. Believe it or not but I feel "old" already and I would like to finish studying while I'm still young. 

But, let's pretend I did it. That I found a job and that I saved up enough money to travel. I feel like it would be more of a vacation rather than an actual experience that could push me forward in life. Yes, I'll get even more experience, which is great... but I'll still have to attend university after that.

Now, I had a long talk about this with Philip yesterday. He said he'd considered traveling around Asia too (to the same countries I'd like to explore). Although I'm kind of bashing on the idea of "pausing my life for a year", traveling with a person that I care so much for doesn't seem bad at all. I know he isn't sure about what to do after graduation either so, in an ideal world, maybe we could spar with each other and eventually help each other find out. Or perhaps he'd want to be a lone wolf... I don't want to be a chain around anyone's ankle though. 

Play it safe:
I could also play it safe. Give up my crazy dreams. Be like everyone else, like majority of people seem to want me to. Become an architect like I wanted to when I was a kid. I used to draw floor plans and build the most incredible houses in Sims 2 and I'd proudly show them to my family members. I did this for years but one day our stationary got a really bad virus and everything was wiped. I told my parents that I'd never become an architect now and, somehow, I lost interest.
If you'd asked me back in 2013 I would have told you that I wanted to work within shipping. But it's just not me. I don't find it interesting. There's money in it, yes, but I don't find it interesting.

When I confide in my older friends and ask for advice, this is what they tell me to do. And I get it. It's a much safer choice... but will I be happy? I'm not sure.. If I aim for a job because of the amount of money I can make, I feel like I'll be wasting time.
I'm afraid I'd rather be reckless and take a couple of risks - and be happy doing what I like. If I end up failing, at least I'll know that I tried and, for me, that's better than living with the regret of having never given it a try.

Go straight to University:
Let's say I decided to further my studies... like I'd planned to.
I have two choices here: move to Copenhagen and study there... or move to Korea for one of their universities. 

I think this is a really tough decision! There were so many important factors to take into consideration. In order for me to keep it more manageable, I wrote down the pros and cons for each place. 
Despite there being more cons to studying in Korea, the pros are pulling me closer. 
I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared out of my mind about actually moving to Korea on my own.. but I think I would gain so much more from living in and experiencing the Korean culture than reading about it in books. 
I was skyping with Philip last night and when he saw me space out because of all these things, he asked about it. I told him all these thoughts I've been dealing with (it was way past my bed time and I was being way too emotional. Poor Philip) and we discussed it for a long time. 
At first he asked what I wanted to do. If I'd been asked this half a year ago, my answer would have been simple: Korea. But things have changed since then and I'm having a hard time being the heartless bastard I once was. Philip and I are not friends. I don't really know what we are but he is one of the "important people I would be leaving behind" - and I don't want to. To be honest, right now, I can't imagine a life in which we'd be living on two different sides of the world. That's what's holding me back and I have no idea how to deal with it.
I have once before moved away from a person I held dear and I don't want to repeat that same mistake again.

So I'm lost. Completely, utterly lost. The past me would be judging the present me so hard for "attaching" myself to others like that and even taking them into my future considerations. But I can't help it. I don't want to. I don't want to leave another important person behind. I don't want to lose him.
I asked him what he would have done if he were me.
"I'd been a heartless bastard and gone to Korea. You won't get that opportunity again, so take it. And you will never leave me behind. Instead, I will be behind your back back, supporting everything you do" he said.


Getting straight into a university is probably what I'm leaning towards the most... but I'm not sure and I feel pressured knowing that my application must be sent before March 15th.

Though..  I think I'm going to follow Philip's advice and apply - for Copenhagen AND Korea (I just have to find out how to do that.. and quick!). On July 30th I'll know if I've been accepted or not. And while I wait for answers, I'll tr to figure out what I actually want to do.

[EDIT]: After looking up several tables with numbers on accepted applications, I've found that only 15 students are accepted into Korean studies at the university of Copenhagen through the two routes of application. Quota I is solely based upon our average while Quota II is for people who did not meet the required average. It's based upon a mixture of grades, working experience, and other interesting factors (like an exchange year).
All the applications will be placed in one big bunch and the 13 students with the highest averages will be accepted into Quota I. 2 will be let in on Quota 2 and here the average doesn't really matter.
Last year there were 40 Quota II applicants . That means only 5% out of those were accepted(!!).
With my current average I would have gotten in on Quota I if I'd applied last year. But the requirements go up every year so I was going to apply for Quota II just in case my average would go down. However, I'm super busy with AT, school assignments, and prom... and if I also have to check out what's required to study in Korea, it seems applying for Quota 2 won't be worth it.
I'm considering applying for Quota 1 and just let things happen. If I get in on Quota I then fine, maybe I'll do that. And if not, I'll go travel.
Does that sound like a bad idea?

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