SEPT 15 – 22


We are entering week 6 and I am already feeling very tired. And it’s not the same kind of exhaustion that I experienced back home where I would feel incredibly burnt out from all the workload and obligations I signed up for (and these were obligations I felt passionate about). Despite having more free time and less academic rigor that do not live up to my expectation of “study” in study abroad, I am feeling very mentally and emotionally exhausted.

Maybe it is because I am finally realizing how foreign everything is and how foreign I feel, although I’ve done a pretty good job settling down and making my away around the city. I feel nervous, like I am constantly holding my breath and I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because my academics are absolutely disappointing and I don’t feel intellectually stimulated by my courses, and some of my classmates are living, breathing examples of bigoted, sexist, white supremacists who love to take up space*. It’s like getting a terrible, full force body slam of very raw moments of life that I was too privileged, young, naive, or sheltered to experience first hand at home. But most importantly, maybe it is because I am actively seeing and feeling how I am changing from this study abroad experience, and I am neither ready nor very accepting of the direction of this change.

When in a foreign place, the only thing that holds a remote form of familiarity is myself. Yet to see myself change so quickly according to the environment around me is a little scary. I don’t want to lose this one familiar thing I have to also feel foreign, but I am having trouble catching up it.

I’ve also been feeling indifferent a lot. Maybe it’s the changing weather? I don’t know. I am kind of indifferent about a lot of things here except when the sun comes out. I feel actively happier when I am in the sun. This weekend, the weather was absolutely ideal. I hadn’t seen the sun in so long, I wanted to cry when I stepped outside and felt the sun shining on my face.

Sophia and I took advantage of this nice weather and visited the Louisiana Museum of Modern Arts 40 minutes up north. When we got off the train, we walked for 15 minutes with the crowd to actually arrive. Even just walking under the sun made me so so happy. After taking a lap around the exhibitions, we sat on a small dock under the sun and made some sketches. We collected rocks. The water made me very nostalgic of California. Okay, I just convinced myself that maybe it’s really just the change of season + the lack of sun that is putting me in this strange mood. It’s also reaffirming how much I can’t leave California (if you are familiar with my past summer experience, you would know).

9/21 Pippilotti Rist’s installation: “the individual pixels are organic in form – like cells or other fragments of the body or nature. A technological organic jungle of electronic and neurological impulses. Enchanting and chaotic”

Soooooo it’s apparently (not apparently, I am not surprised aha) raining this week and next week. Goodbye sun. You’ll be missed.


I usually keep a list of things I like in my journal. It sounds very cheesy, but it’s just a way of reminding myself all the small things, all the good things about my surrounding. Sophia suggested I share a list of things that have made me feel happy badum! so I guess I’ll share it here:

  • Taking long, unpredictable, warm naps under the sun on Sophia’s bed
  • Looking at all the funny faces of passing bikers and silently laughing inside
  • How Hanan, Sophia, and I offer each other tea whenever we make tea for ourselves
  • Danish babies + their fashion….!
  • Fig goat cheese pizza that Sophia and I made for dinner on Saturday
  • Honestly any leftover foods
  • Running into familiar faces at the most random places (happens SO often, like Carter from downstairs was on the same train back when we were coming from Louisiana and she wasn’t even visiting Louisiana)
  • good, honest conversations with Hanan – she makes me warm and fuzzy inside
  • Touching Hanan’s soft, glorious hair and feeling blessed
  • Long, reflective conversations with Jiwon after our 8:30 am core class on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • How Sophia wraps her leg around me in an awkward position when she gives hugs
  • Nice strolls
  • Extreme Watercoloring with Ella
  • Cozy lighting
  • Receiving random texts from friends back home
  • The sound of water – waves, rain, but not water running from our toilet
  • A fully stocked fridge

And definitely more to come.

*I want to return to this topic briefly. It’s actually taking me a while to write this very short blog post because my through process keeps evolving and evolving! I actually just came back from a nice conversation with Hanan and she told me something I really appreciated. She said that because the terrible people in my class are already very privileged and hold a good amount of power, for them to make me feel shitty and not enjoy my experience here simply due to their presence is also them stripping away something from me, and ultimately giving more power to them. Yes, yes, this is very true and I won’t let them strip away more of what I deserve. I feel like I am at a much better place after my convo with Hanan and will continue to keep this in mind when interacting with them.

That’s all folks! I hope to return next week more energy and better news ~!

Until then,


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