From Freshman To Sophomore

I survived of my first year in university, so I thought it would be about a time to tell how the end of my last semester went and how this new semester has started. I felt that my second semester was easier in many ways than my first one was. It was partly because I had few really easy curses, partly because I had less group works and presentations, partly because I knew how to manage my time better, and partly because everything wasn't new to me anymore. Unfortunately my GPA dropped to 4.19 even though I studied pretty hard. To be honest I was dissapointed, but it is what it is...

Kind of ashamed to share these, but maybe it makes me to work even harder! From top to bottom: Introduction to Political Science, Principles of Economics 1, Academic Writing for International Students, Poetry and Advertisement, Korea and the World, Minerva Liberal Arts Lecture 1, and Introduction to Logic

Few words of my past courses then! I told how Introduction to Political Science required active participation to collect participation points, and that I didn't have much luck with collecting those. I continued trying to get a turn to answer, but in the end I could answer only two or three times the whole semester. Presentation wasn't mandatory so I didn't do it, but apparently I did pretty well in my quiz and final exam because I got an A. Happy about it! Another challenging course for me was Intoduction to Logic. This Korean professor was my favorite of whole semester and I'm pretty sad he doesn't teach any other courses I could take. But this course was SO difficult! I did really well with my midterm, if I remember right I got one point less than full points, but after it I totally lost it. The second part of this course was incredibly difficult and even though I really tried to study, I just couldn't understand how to make those derivations. We needed to do some exercises in groups and I'm super thankful to those Korean boys who were in the same group with me and tried to help me to understand, and showed me their correct answers. One of the boys explained one of the derivations for me really carefully from the beginning to the end and I think that without him I would have done really terribly in my final exam. Because of my lovely professor and my succesful midterm I got an A of this course too.

Pure trade theory, difficult!

Then there's few grades I was really dissappointed with, Priciples of Economics 1 (microeconomics) and Minerva. For some reason I got really into economics and studied it really hard. I actually loved to read my weekly readings and my professor was amazing. Unfortunately his exams are difficult for me. I make always some stupid mistakes because I don't read his tricky questions carefully enough... And I think I messed up with some of my homeworks too. It can sound really stupid that I almost cried after my midterm when I received just an A instead of A+, but I just knew that I could and should have done better... So I got an A, and now I try to study economics really hard to get better. Then the Minerva one... I got A+ in my first semester, so I don't understand why I got just an A this time because I thought I did everything similar way than in my first semester. I was never absent, never late and I got almost full points of my midterm essay. This professor must have hated either my presentation or my final essay, or both, because I don't understand why I got just an A this time... At least now I'm done with my Minervas for good.

Fall starts to finally arrive

Then to my beginning as a sophomore. I'm taking 7 courses, 18 credits, like usually. This time I have school only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Even though I have four "free" days in a week, it surely doesn't mean that I could just rest or do my own business those days! I have lots of readings and studying to do when I'm not in class. I study really long hours. In Tuesdays I'm taking International Trade Theory, International Organization: Theory and Practice, and HUFS Career Design. International Trade Theory is difficult course. It's microeconomics of international trade so we basicly learn to draw different kind of graphs and stuff. My professor is Korean grandpa who is super into teaching and continues it even though he is officially retired. I'm pretty scared of this course because the book has really difficult looking stuff in it but I hope that the professor will help me through this course. International Organization course is interesting but I'm totally screwed with the readings. I'm not really fast to read academic text if I want something from it to stay in my brain, and in this course we have weekly readings from 6 different books plus around 8 articles we can download online. This course is the main reason that I have always something to read and study. The class is conversational and even though I'm pretty shy to state my opinions for whole class, the athmosphere of this class is really nice and not scary at all. Unfortunately I need to keep two individual presentations. Professor seems to have interesting working background includind some international organizations and Arirang tv. HUFS Career Design is mandatory class to take before graduating so that's why I'm taking it. There's only one class for foreigners and many of the other students are Chinese. In our first class our professor asked everyone if we prefer English or Korean and many of us said we prefer English, but only some of the Chinese students speak English. Professor said she will lecture in Korean and English, but already in our second class she was speaking 90% Korean. I've told her multiple times that I can't understand Korean much at all and I know that there's at least few students who can't understand everything in Korean either, but now she seems to expect that my group must translate everything what she says to me. Of course it's not possible for them to translate EVERYTHING, but my lovely Korean speaking groupmate promised to tell me if there's something really important. This is pass or fail type of course so we won't get a grade of it, but would have been nice to actually get some useful information for job hunting and stuff with a language I can understand... Her PPT's will be in English, so must hope that those will give enough info for me.

In Wednesday I have Korean Politics and Foreign Policy and Korean Literature. I don't have much to say about Korean politics yet, but we are required to have one group presentation. Seems to be pretty interesting. Korean Literature is my only liberal arts class this semester and we need to do surprisingly much for it. Before midterm we need to submit cultural experience essay and a book review. Professor seems nice, let's see how this course will proceed. Thursdays I'm taking second part of Principles of Economics (macroeconomics), and International Security II: Non-Traditional Approach. Economics will continue with the same book I liked last semester, but unfortunately with different professor this time. I hope I will understand his exams better. International Security course is about human security and seems to be really interesting. Professor is super cool. Looking forward!

Breakfast at campus cafe and some studying of economics

Reading room where I usually read. The aircon is always too cold so I'm totally freezing while reading!

For our sophomore year we could choose our double majors or minors. I chose minor and because I got interested of economics I ended up choosing International Economics & Law. Unfortunately there's only few courses every semester that minor students can take, so I might need to beg professors in the future to take me to their classes even though I'm not majoring in this subject. Tuesday's International Trade Theory is my first minor class, and it's actually meant for third year students. I think it would be easier if I would have studied a bit more of microeconomics before, but I really hope I won't mess up with this course totally. I'm already super stressed because I don't want my GPA to drop any more, but same time is kind of nice to be back to school and learn new things again. Especially because August was so boring without doing anything! Studying is challenging and tiring, but worth of my mental exhaustion. I have some of my old classmates almost in every class with me so it has been really nice to see familiar faces and chat with them after not seeing them in months. But I'm sad that I haven't seen some nice Korean students at all after my fist semester! And now there will be new schoolmates I won't see... Even though our campus is super small, it seems to be hard to randomly meet up with some people. I haven't made new friends yet because I usually have someone whom to talk with, but I should try to be more social and get out of my comfort zone. And of course try to get closer with the ones who I already know. :)

Going to morning class with watermelon milk