But don’t quote me on that.
Getting to School
I’m making this large claim only because that’s what it felt like when I arrived at this campus for the first time. I took the subway by myself from Hongik University Station to Ewha Womans University Station, and having not planned my journey well, I got lost very quickly.
Hermes couldn’t even beat me.
I was at the station named after the school, so it had to be nearby. However, I didn’t know which direction to go, so it felt like I was being teased or tested. Maybe both. I wasn’t strong enough to ask people around me for help, because I felt dumb in all aspects. That’s something I need to definitely work on while being here.
After a long hour of passing by the same old stores and walking up long hills, I finally found my school.
It was unbelievable. Pictures of the the main entrance can’t capture the way the concrete floors glow and reflect sunlight. You could get snow-blindness from it. Capable of albedo. This is what you first see when you arrive at Ewha, a magnificent building of cascading walls. An awing work of art that even people who don’t get lost trying to find this place can appreciate equally. This was my first impression of the school, and what a sight and sign it, and the journey, was. What a year this will be.
Welcome New Students!
The campus was beautiful enough to distract my emotions when I got lost yet again, but this time I needed to know where orientation was. Despite all of this wonder around me though, I felt so squished in such an open area. It wasn’t the branches of the beautiful trees that suffocated or the sweet blue colored bird that flew nearby that made trepidation crawl over as balls of sweat. Nor was it the old traffic worker that stood in most corners or the taxis that threatened each passersby’s life.
Was it my own fear? Had it been fear that lead me lost? No one was looking at me, yet I felt eyes all over. These eyes I have never felt before, so I went and traveled with embarrassment leading the way. Loneliness does a toll on the mind–I’ve always known that–yet I still allowed it to control me like a joystick.
What I did to solve this problem (finding orientation and calming myself down) was, looking back, something I would not suggest everyone to do. Just some people.
I didn’t think finding my destination was helpful. I didn’t desperately look under every leaf to see if there was the place I was looking for. The saying goes, “Time heals all wounds,” and though I do have a counter for this quote, it fit with what I needed to do. The eyes were on me, but I felt stronger during each of those moments. And getting comfortable with getting uncomfortable got me to go to someone and ask, “Is this where orientation is?,” and finally finding where I belonged.