Posted in Personal, Rant, Selfstudy

Honest thoughts on motivation

How do you stay motivated to study?

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while, as it is one of the questions I get the most from fellow students.
The answer is really simple and while I hope I don’t come across as a total downer, I think we need to get rid of this naive way of thinking.
The answer is; I don’t. I simply don’t rely on being motivated.
I work hard even when my motivation is nowhere to be seen.

There’s a saying that goes ‘If you find a job that you love, then you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’
I strongly dislike this saying as I find it naive rather than motivational and it gives an unrealistic goal to chase after.
Let me just make this super clear. Even if you get your dream job, you will have crappy days. I mean think about it. If you get into your dream school, do you really think that you’ll be able to complete it without feeling any burden or tiredness? I’m sorry to burst anybody’s bubble, but the answer is no. No matter how happy you are about your school or your job, there will still be that co-worker that you just can’t stand. There’s still going to be cold, dark, rainy and stormy Monday mornings where you would give anything in exchange for getting to stay in bed. There’s still going to be things that you don’t understand and things that you don’t want to do.
Getting your dream job doesn’t magically create more time in your day or more energy to your body. You won’t automatically start liking everybody around you and you won’t automatically get your life together.

I find that this type of mentality is closely connected to the whole “If only XX then everything will be solved” mentality.
If only I lose weight, then everything will be okay.’
‘If I just get this job then all my problems will go away’

I’m sorry but life doesn’t work that way. And becoming obsessed with these ideas can cause your mental health some serious harm. It’s so easy to fall in those traps and end up feeling really bad about still struggling with something.
‘I have such a great job, why am I still feeling like this?’
You can feel truly happy about something and still struggle with it. You can want to learn Korean with all of your heart, and you’ll still struggle with motivation sometimes. And that’s okay. It’s completely normal.

I guess what I’m trying to say is just that you really can’t rely on motivation for results. What you can rely on, however, is the work you put into your dreams, even when you don’t feel motivated.
Trust me. I can guarantee you that even the great Oprah has days where she just doesn’t feel it.
So that’s it. I just work hard. Always.

Posted in Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Study Log: June

NOTE!
Hi guys! I was just about to post this study log, when I discovered that I forgot to publish the one from last month! I’m an idiot, sorry! ;;
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JUNE STUDY LOG

Goals for June:
– Have a daily study average on 2 hours
– Work on my vocabulary
– Enjoy myself even more

Results:

A Tracker:
42 Hours, which gives me a daily average of: 1,4 Hours.
As you can tell from my goals, I was aiming way higher than that, but sometimes life just happens. I know it’s still a decent amount of studying but I’m not really satisfied. Oh well!

TOPIK:
My TOPIK practice results for June were:
듣기: 32/50 correct answers.
That’s 4 correct answers less than last month, but I can’t really complain when my effort weren’t that great either ^^’

읽기: 32/50 correct answers.
This is also 4 less than last time. I also haven’t been reading as much this month in general, which suddenly made me feel very overwhelmed. I felt like my reading stamina had dropped but to be honest I was probably just really tired, haha!

Other results: 
During the last half of the month I started to really work on my vocabulary and on actually using it, which is really great. My italki teacher is also really diligent and sends me detailed notes, so that’s really helpful!
As for enjoying myself, I have really gotten better! I’ve started to watch dramas again and I watched the entire 1st season of Busted on netflix. I didn’t track it as a part of my studying though, as I was watching it while cleaning and such.
I also continued to enjoy podcasts.  (I’ll have a post up next week on all of these things)

To work on in July:
– Have a daily study average on 3 hours. July is also a bit busy, but I’m able to work things around my schedule this time, so I can definitely reach this!
– Work on my vocabulary. I want to really make an effort to use the words I’m learning more and become familiar with their sounds and usages. I also think it’ll give me the push I need to get better TOPIK scores.
– Practice reading aloud! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I never really do it (Mid July update: I’m doing really well with this one!)
– Work on Taekwondo specific vocabulary! Yeah.. Uhm.. That’s its own story! I’ll be back with that one soon!
– Study with TOPIK tests. I did that ages ago and found it really helpful, so I’d like to work on that again. By studying I mean re-reading the tests I have already taken, looking up all unknown words and grammar structures, analyzing the answers and taking notes.
– Work on writing. My writing really needs some extra practice so I want to try an spend some more time on that, even though I already have plenty goals for July, haha! ^^

Posted in Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Study Log: May

NOTE!
Hi guys! I was just about to post my June study log, when I discovered that I forgot to publish this one from May! I’m an idiot, sorry! ;;
———————————————————————————————————————

MAY STUDY LOG

Goals for May:
– Finish Kmooc Course
– Prioritize listening practice
– Keep daily study average on 3 hours or more
– Enjoy myself and studying a bit more

Results:

A Tracker:
91 Hours, which gives me a daily average of: 2,9 Hours.
My daily average back in April was 2,8 hours so it’s only a little bit higher and it also means that I didn’t accomplish my goal of a 3 hour average, but honestly it’s close enough to satisfy me, haha!

TOPIK:
My TOPIK practice results for May were:
듣기: 36/50 correct answers.
This is my current personal high score, but it’s not the first time I have gotten it, so I’d like to up it a bit!

읽기: 36/50 correct answers.
This is 6 more correct answers than I got last month, and also a new personal record! I’m very satisfied!

Other results: 
I finished my Kmooc course with a final score of 95%, which I’m really really really happy with!
I also managed to prioritize listening a lot more and have really been enjoying podcasts lately. This also leads me to the final goal which was to enjoy myself more. I definitely started to do more of what I enjoy, but not nearly enough.

To work on in June:
– Have a daily study average on 2 hours. June is going to be crazy busy for me, so I probably wont be able to get above 2 hours. I’d rather be realistic than become disappointed later
– Work on my vocabulary
– Enjoy myself even more

Posted in books, Guides, Resources, Selfstudy, Study With Me, Uncategorized

Study With Me: TTMIK Your First Hanja Guide

Good evening guys!
Yesterday I finished the ‘Your First Hanja Guide’ book by Talk To Me In Korean and I wanted to share with you all how I’ve been studying with the book every day, for the past few months.
Before I begin I would like to mention that I really enjoyed working with the book and I definitely recommend it if you want to try studying Korean through hanja. If you are curious about the book then I recommend that you read this review by the brilliant Sofie,  watch this video by TTMIK themselves or you can read more about it on the mykoreanstore website where you can also buy the book.
Alright, let’s begin!

As always, I begin by preparing the things I need.
I usually have the book I’m studying with, my notebook, pens, correction tape and 원고지 paper. Start

I always begin by jotting down what book I’m working with, along with the page, subject or whatever else I find interesting.

Intro

I then open up my 원고지 notes and practice writing the character. The thing is, if you are only going through these hanja characters in order to improve your Korean skills, then you don’t need to practice writing them at all. As long as you know that they exist and what they mean, then you really don’t need anything else.
However, I have known for almost two years now, that I want to learn Chinese in the future, so I’m basically using this as an opportunity to get more comfortable with the different characters and their strokes, so in my case it simply makes sense to put a little more effort into my notes. I also found it oddly calming to repeat all the strokes over and over again. It reminds me of the reasons why I bought some calligraphy books in Korea. Maybe I’ll pick them up soon and give it a try..

Practice

I then go on listen to the accompanying audio files twice. The first time I simply listen carefully to the pronunciation and intonation, and the second time I read aloud while listening. Lastly, I then read the words and sentences aloud once again, without listening to the file, while trying to sound as natural as possible.

Track

I then move on the jot down some notes about the hanja character. I write down whatever I find interesting or relevant in order for me to better remember it the next time I see it, or to help make it easier for me to tell it apart from other characters.
It can be a breakdown of the characters that help create the new character or it can be some notes on how the character got it’s meaning.

Breakdown

Once I feel like I have written down anything of interest, I move on to write down the list of Korean words that are based on that hanja character. As always, I color code my notes. In this case, hanjas are always written in red, to make easier for me to spot them in my notes. After writing down all the hanjas, I take out my green pen and write down the words in hangul next to the hanja. That way I can actually read the words that I’m working with.
Lastly, I take my blue pen and write down the definition of the words that I didn’t know already.

vocabulary

As the last part I write down the sample sentences. I do this in order to get more familiar with both the hanja word, the sentence structure and spelling of the different words. It can be really helpful to copy down some notes like these. I also avoid writing the hangul version of the words in the sample sentences. I do this because I want to encourage my brain to start remembering them without the hangul. It usually isn’t a problem since the rest of the sentence kinda gives the meaning away, and if not then I can simply find the hanja in my notes right above the sample sentences.

Example sentence

And that’s basically it! It’s pretty simple but I get to read, listen, write and speak as well,  so I found it quite helpful.
As for time, this specific character was pretty simple and didn’t take a lot of time, but some characters are a lot more tricky and has a lot more related words, so it’s going to change a lot depending on the characters your working with.

I hope you all found some inspiration to study with this (or another) book.

Posted in drama, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Drama lines ep. 1

These days I have been quite the fan of Korean subtitles on my dramas and movies. I know I know, I’m late to the game!
I generally don’t use subtitles at all but after adding the Korean ones I seem to be catching a lot more new words and grammar points. Normally my general understanding is pretty good and I’m pretty darn good at understanding through context, which doesn’t always turn out to be a good thing.
I have discovered recently that when I’m watching dramas I come across a lot of things that I don’t understand – AND I DON’T EVEN NOTICE THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT! I understand what is being said and what is happening through the context, so I don’t even notice all the unknown words being said.

Don’t get me wrong – You can definitely learn the meaning of words through the context they appear in, but obviously things go a lot faster when you actually notice the words and actively look them up.
Therefor I have now started to actively jot down sentences on my phone while watching dramas and then I transfer them to my notebook at a later time. I prefer having all my notes in the same place so this is the most convenient method to me, and the transfer process also doubles as reviewing all the sentences 아싸!

So what do I write down?
ANYTHING interesting.
– Sentences that unknown words  or grammar appear in.
– Sentences I feel like might come in handy at a later time.
– Sentences where already known words or grammar points are used in a way that I never thought about using them in myself.

Literally anything that catches my attention.
I thought that it might be fun to share some of these sentences with you guys – Maybe you can even guess which drama the sentences comes from? I’ll also add a vocab list later, if you would like me to. Let me know!

  1. 이제 살 것 같다.
  2. 너 되게 뻔뻔하다.
  3. 나였으면 넌 여기 없지. 옥상에서 던져버렸어.
  4. 다듯한 차라도 마시면 속이 좀 나질거야.
  5. 거기가 맨바닥이라는 말은 아니고…
  6. 네 말대로면, 하늘에서 나라온 고미남이란 돌멩이를 맞아 기절했던 건 황태경이야.
  7. 내가 무슨 치한이냐? 소리는 왜 질러?
  8. 지금은 거직으로 다른분들은 속이고 있지만..
  9. 아니, 그러니까, 잘 좀 묶어 다니지.
  10. 너랑 더 상대 안해.
  11. 그래. 너 때문에 난 더럽고 냄새 나고 축축 하고 아파.
  12. 곤란하게 만들어서 죄송합니다.
  13.  아주, 만두부인 속터지는 소리 하고 있네.
  14. 야! 너 태경형한테 또 사고 줬냐?
  15. 비밀을 벌써 하나 털렸네.
  16. 내가 다 망쳐버렸어.
  17. 나~ 이렇게 학교도 안가고 연예인이나 졸졸 쫓아다니는 이런 핏덩이들이랑은 달라.
  18. 버텨야돼. 여기서 나가면 다 들킬거야.
  19. 너 그렇게 맹렬하게 쓰고 있는데 별 게 아니야?
  20. 우리 사이 진짜 인척 하자고 했는 건 너고 나는 그걸 받아드린거야.

Did you come across an interesting sentence?
Can you guess where the sentences are from – The two most important names are included in the sentences!
Anyway, I hope you found this useful and I’ll see you guys another day with new sentences. 🙂

Posted in books, Personal, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Old challenges

Now that I have gotten back into my study habits again I have been trying to decide which story books and study books I should add to my schedule. It wasn’t really a problem to pick out the study books but I couldn’t decide on a story book, despite having 5  great books to choose from. Don’t you guys know that feeling of having some books or movies that you truly love and enjoy, but sometimes it’s just not the right time for them to shine? Anyway, my boyfriend then bought me a tablet yesterday because he wanted to make it easier for me to study on the go despite my busy schedule. He said that he wanted me to have a loyal studybuddy (isn’t that the cutest thought ever?). While setting up my new studybuddy​, I made a list of useful apps and started downloading and logging in to all of then, and when I opened the Ridibooks app, the first book that showed up was 덕혜옹주.

As many of you guys know I started reading 덕혜옹주 last year around summertime and because it’s quite a difficult book it took me ages to just read a single page. After reading the prologue and the first two chapters I was in desperate need of a break. Generally speaking, I have a tendency to study with materials that are way over my level. I have always done that and to be honest I kinda like it that way. When feeling somewhat lost I automatically pay better attention, have a stronger focus and feel way more motivated. I know that most people feel the opposite but then again, we’re all different – and thank god for that! Nevertheless this book just happened to be a tad too much over my level. It was to the point where I couldn’t even figure out whether something was a difficult old word or a weird old name. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is when you spend ages on finding the meaning of a word without any luck, just to later discover that it was a name? (Thanks Jeannie! It you hadn’t told me back then, I would still be lost lol) Oh god even just thinking about it makes me all frustrated!

When I decided that it was time to take a break from reading it, I promised myself that it really just was going to be a break. I didn’t want to give up. However I quickly forgot all about it and now 10 months have passed. I feel ready and motivated to end my break and give it another chance. Maybe I’ll finish it, or maybe I’ll read 3 more chapters and then need another break. I have no idea, but I do know that I still want to complete it and even thought this last year haven’t been the most consistent year when it comes to studying, I know that my abilities have improved so maybe it’ll feel less difficult this time. I began reading the 3rd chapter yesterday and once I have read a bit more and gotten an idea about how difficult it is, then I’ll add some reading goals to my new study schedule.

Challenges doesn’t always work out like you want them to, but that doesn’t mean that you failed them. I challenge you all to pick up one of your own old challenges. Maybe it’ll be easier now 🙂

Posted in Personal, taekwondo, Uncategorized

Who would’ve thought

Lately I have been very aware of all the things in my life that are precious to me. That usually happens this time of the year, however this year it seems that the majority of these precious things are related to my language learning journey, in one way or another.
Through my Korean studies I have met a whole bunch of amazing people that I would now hate to be without. I have met people through language exchange, through italki teachers, through this blog as well as through fellow students. I went on a trip to London and made a ton of great memories. I took chances I never thought I would even consider taking and I have learned about a new culture and a new way of thinking.
And now, I’m starting yet another adventure! Because I’m joining a Taekwondo class! Wait wait wait.. Just how did I end up here?
Well. When I was young(er) I used to love any movie that involved martial arts and there was even a Taekwondo class starting up near my house, but my mom didn’t allow me to take part in it. Since then I have thought about joining different classes like kickboxing or self-defense classes, and when I jokingly told my Korean friend that I would start learning karate, he responded with ‘I won’t allow that! At the very least you have to stay loyal to Korea and choose Taekwondo instead!’ While this too was just a joke, I ended up actually giving it some consideration. Around a week later I actually discovered a club pretty close to me by accident and started to think about it more seriously. I ended up contacting the club and even though I can’t start yet (Transportation is really an issue when you live in the countryside like I do, so I have to wait until I’m finished getting my drivers licence) and there’s no official start-ups around the time where I can start, they allowed me to sign up anyway and then join them as soon as I can. So there you have it. I’m joining a Taekwondo class around the new year!
A Korean friend reminded me of my interest in martial arts and my interest in Korea led me towards Taekwondo. I probably wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for my Korean language learning journey.
Who would have known that my life would look this way, today? Let’s all go on more adventures!