Dear Pen Pal #1: Hello's

Dear reader, 

We're so excited to welcome a new feature to the magazine. A really amazing writer lives halfway across the world and is willing to share her life with us. Our little hub is expanding, and we can go far beyond even oceans!

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Hi! my name is Kelly Park (or Jihyang Park), and I live in Seoul, Korea; to be more specific, I live in the famous Gangnam—from that song, you know what it is (think PSY). In March, I will start attending Daewon Foreign Language High School as a freshman. You’re probably all wondering why a random girl from halfway across the world is writing a letter to you. See, I lived in California from 2nd grade to 7th grade, and there, I befriended Angela, who you all know as the editor-in-chief. We have been contacting each other ever since I came to Korea, and I couldn’t reject her offer when she asked me to be a part of this.

So now I’m WOKEN’s pen pal, here from halfway across the world, and I’m just going to talk about my life. As a teenage girl, living in Korea. Right now I’m on winter break, and after winter break in Korea, a new school year starts, unlike the U.S. 

More differences: almost every student in Korea goes to “hakwon”, academies. Hakwon usually end at 10 p.m., because it’s illegal for them to have classes after 10. Naturally, as a student in Korea, I go to hakwon too. I attend it 5 times a week during break, averaging five hours a day. It’s a boring cycle, really. I don’t have time for hobbies. One interesting thing in life right now for me is that I’m currently learning Spanish, which isn’t a very common second language in Korea. But because I’ll be majoring in Spanish during high school, I get the special opportunity to learn it, and I’m so excited. But look: life in Korea in general is so boring to me that even these kinds of things are fun. I am one of the average students in Korea who studies almost 10 hours a day, just to get into the university I want. It’s miserable. 

But there are good things to look forward to. Once I enter high school, I get to join really interesting clubs, like the Jalisco or Flamenco club, a Korean traditional band club, model UN club, and so much more! Also, we have a really cool orientation camp with all the seniors of the school. The little things in life are the best for us here, which is why I can’t wait for high school and all its open opportunities.

So this pretty much sums up my current life. I have so much more to tell you all about in the coming future. Until then, bye!

Love,

Kelly