Thursday, December 3, 2009

For me, Gainesville is the most boring city I have ever lived in. I am used to the busy streets and skyscrapers of Seoul which is one of the ten largest cities in the world. When I came here about a year and a half ago, I was very excited about the new life that I am going to have. In those days, I was tired of all the pressure that existed in Korea: education, college, peer pressure, and disregard for teenagers. These pressures exist everywhere; however, I think it is especially excessive in Korea since it is a so small country and there are small amount of jobs but 50 million people competing to live. When you are born in Korea, especially in Seoul, you are born to study and to compete. We learn to go to good college, things that we learn are really unrealistic; we memorize every single word in the text book if you miss one, you might miss something on the test. When we become 12th grade, at the end of the year, we take a big exam that will include all things that we learn through middle school to high school. It is like SAT in USA, but in the exam a lot more stuff is included; English, Korean, math, social science or science, and second language. Unlike SAT we only can take it only once a year, after being 12th grade. We can take it several times more; however, we have to wait another year. Because of those circumstances, high school students’ schedule is extreme. They go to school at 7 a.m. The school finishes at 4 o’clock, but there is a after school self-study until about 10 p.m. Then they go to academies, where we learn more, until about 1 a.m. Finally, they do their homework from the school and academies.

It seems really awful to live in Korea as a student because I talked about only bad things about life in Korea. Middle school students do not live like that; they get more free time and usually sleep before 12. Also high school students have some free times during weekends. Seoul is a big city. It is larger than any other city in USA and safer than any other city in USA despite its size.

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