September was a very busy month, with lots of orientations to go to and classes to attend. I think I can say that it was my adjustment period. But now, I’m getting used to things little by little and now I finally have time to blog about previous month’s highlights!
So far, the classes are enjoyable and the people in my major are a lot of fun to be with. There are only 10 freshmen (including me) in our department so I think it would really help us bond and work more closely with each other. Many of us didn’t take economics in undergrad but it wasn’t too big of an impediment for us; everyone has been very helpful and our department head has also been very approachable. We could come to him whenever we had problems about academics and he has given us good advice.
Besides the required classes (Econometrics and Applied Macroeconomics), I also took two social development electives and I must say, I really enjoy my classes. They are very challenging for me because social sciences classes are different from business classes. We have so many readings for one week and we have to present these cases in class, and facilitate class discussions as well. But I like how these classes motivate me to think, criticize ideas, and relate theories and cases to my native country. It also helps that our department is composed of students from different parts of the world, and their insights in class are opening my mind to new perspectives.
I’ve been trying hard to speak in Chinese wherever I go, although sometimes I think I sound really weird. I also got into the Mandarin class that I was trying to enroll in, which is awesome because I really learned a lot of practical phrases and words from the class. We’re not taught how to read and write though so I am taking extra steps to learn that. I also try to listen in on my friends’ conversations because my listening skills suck, but overall I think that my Chinese has gotten so much better just by living here.
Contrary to my expectations, I’m not completely alone during classes! Yes! I’m an introvert, yes, but of course we all need social life to stay sane, especially in a foreign country where it is harder to make friends. Fortunately, I’ve met lots of new people from different countries and we all enjoy hanging out together. I also met some Filipino scholars, which is awesome! My roommate and I are getting along well too, we share a lot of things in common and we’re very interested in each other’s countries, so we end up learning a lot about each other. She has also introduced me to her friends, who are all nice and friendly. I think we’re off to a great start and I think it will only get better until the end of the school year.
Finances, chores, responsibilities, etc. a.k.a. adulting
I’ve learned so many things about myself during the adjustment period, especially because I also went through some tough times. Before arriving in Taiwan, I’ve never had to do any household chore because we had maids to do that for me and my siblings. But here, I learned how to do everything all by myself. It was terrifying at first but now that I think of it, it’s not too bad. And I’m not such a slob anymore. Sometimes I hardly recognize myself. Lol.
I have also learned how to manage my money. Living away from your parents really makes a difference on how you see and manage your money. I used to just buy whatever I wanted because I knew I could afford it, but now I try to consider whether I really need something before buying it. I think it’s good that I developed this kind of discipline, because I have yet to get my scholarship stipend for this month – but no worries, because I still have some money left from last month’s allowance.
I really got into ukulele when I came to Taiwan because music is my stress reliever. I have been learning some new songs and new styles of playing. I also recorded my first song cover on video, as a gift for my boyfriend!
My boyfriend and I love Final Fantasy X and this song, Suteki Da Ne 【素敵だね?】so I thought of recording this for him. I’m a bit video-shy and it was kind of embarrassing to record it because people were passing by and looking at me… Lol I might never do this again XD
Hope you guys had a great month! 🙂