Thursday, January 10, 2013

Something I forgot to mention.

college life, life experience, working students, central korean university, funny stories, inspiration

A while back, I posted something long and corny about my college history. I forgot to mention something crucial to my change of mind. I used to hate school, then I got used to it and I even like it now. There's a reason.

[Unrelated: CPU is where I attend university, but now there's a widespread joke that its CKU: Central Korean University, due to the Korean population explosion in the campus and even the university football team is all Korean guys. They'll warn you not to cross the field while they practice with incoherent shouts. Many students are annoyed by that.]

(Back to the topic.) CPU has a major student population of working students. Most of my friends there are, and they work 20 hours a week (even more) to pay for tuition, and they have different side jobs to earn aside from that. One is a busy masseur who travels all over the island. Others sell pastries, AVON products, does laundry. Most of them had a history of stopping school to work -- I have a classmate who was a caregiver to a rich Chinese businessman's mother. I enjoy their stories.

Sometimes when they all talk about their experiences, which I enjoy listening to, I feel awkward because I have nothing to say. I've realized that I never seriously thought about money. I never realized that I am what they would consider 'lucky' or 'privileged' because while I am not rich, my parents earn enough that I don't need to work for myself. In my mind, everyone was probably like me. There was a time when my mother was in a bit of trouble because of credit card debt, but life looks fairly okay for now and a few years into the future.

Well, knowing them, I realized that all my troubles were so petty and I felt like an ungrateful brat who takes what she has for granted. Hell, I agonized over things so shitty and not worth anyone's time. They have lived with the uncertainty of where the next meal will be from, if their make-shift homes in illegal areas will still be there tomorrow. No, they don't sound sad. They talk like it was all fun, and I laugh along.

I guess the moral lesson is obvious.

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