KyungSun in Scotland: Scattered

Things that have been on my mind lately: homesickness, booking flights, buying Edinburgh concert tickets, prescription waste, Harry Potter Pub Quiz, and what I’m having for lunch today. These are a reflection of the many things I am juggling this week. If there was a way to see my thoughts, it would certainly look like a scribbly 2 year-old doodle. So perhaps the best way to give you a better picture of my thoughts is to sketch them out separately. Here goes:

When you’re trying to move on…

Homesickness is like the cold that refuses to go away. It gives you a headache, it’s all you think about, and even when you find a distraction, it still lurks underneath. It’s persistent because when you’re dealing with problems, you usually want to do three things: shut down, shut everyone out, or let everyone in to help you. I think the best place to do all three is at home with your family. I’ve mostly been missing the ease and comfort of home. Being abroad means you have to make a lot of decisions on your own, and lately, I’ve had to make some headache-inducing money decisions. Numbers already stress me out (social sciences all the way!) and after a stressful number-crunching session, takeout and staying in bed become very attractive options.

If you just booked a budget-flight…

Like me, you’d probably be a bit scared. Germanwings’ latest crash struck my heart for the 150 people that were on board and their families. I pray that they find strength during their time of grief. I can’t even imagine how shocking it is knowing that your loved one is gone unexpectedly and how infuriating it is not knowing the cause of the crash. The pilot was experienced, there was no distress signal, and I pray that they find the other black box soon. It could have been anyone. I recently booked two flights to Athens and Rome from a budget-airline before the crash. It’s nerve-racking and another source of stress, but I’m trying to remind myself to have hope in all things – hope that everything will eventually be okay.

Here is a good summary to the story in case you don’t know about it yet:

Finding good music to keep you sane…

Despite the difficulty in managing money, I’m reminding myself what exactly I’m buying. One of those things are concert tickets. My goal is to visit as many theatres and performance venues in Edinburgh as possible. I hear they are beautiful! Some of them are in old churches or historic buildings which will also make it an even more unique experience compared to performances in the States. Now, as much as I love that Usher is coming to Glasgow (Scotland’s biggest city), I’m also a big fan of musicals and classical music. I know, I know. It’s “outdated”. But I instilled a deep appreciation for it by growing up singing classical music. Plus, contemporary and classical instrument fusion is awesome (see link below for proof). I’m also using UR’s cultural reimbursements, which has eased the burden that I may be coming home broke.



When you go against the World Health Organization….

My MSP told me earlier this month about a life-changing health idea: donating unused medicines to developing countries. I was immediately intrigued and he said he wanted me to look into how to set up this program in Scotland. Success! I now found my topic for my 5,000 word internship research paper. After looking more into it, I discovered that there is a lot of prescription waste in both Scotland, the UK, and the US. This is not to say that our countries are inefficient. Less than 50% of this waste is actually unavoidable due to for example, people switching treatments or passing away before finishing their medicines. However, the avoidable waste is what I’m most concerned with, especially if they are caused by inefficiencies in our prescribing practices. Of course, like with all foreign aid, I have to be careful of the unintended consequences that may come from drug donations. Apparently the World Health is not a fan of donating medicines abroad. However, hopefully my research will lead me to discover some safe, sustainable, and legal practices!

When you’re breathing the same air as J.K. Rowling…

I have yet to see Ms. Rowling herself. I haven’t checked if she’s out on tour, but my friend does know where she lives…Despite the fact that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in Edinburgh, HP it’s not a big tourist hype here. There is, however, a lot of local and campus-hype for HP. So far I’ve come across an Azkaban ceilidh, the Harry Potter Society, and tonight is the Quizzard (Harry Potter Pub Quiz) hosted at the local pub. I’m hoping the triwizard cup will be the victory prize. Fun fact: Rowling drew inspiration for some of HP’s famous places like Diagon Alley from alleyways and places here in Edinburgh.

Finally, the most important meal of the day….

Today’s special is the pulled pork sandwich. Sold.

My thoughts may seem scattered, but they’re all pieces of my abroad experience. Yes, lately, I’ve mostly been tired, homesick, and stressed. But I like to take these moments to re-focus where I am. I zoom out from how I’m feeling in that particular time and see all the things that’s happened so far. Doing this has made me realize that despite the stress right now, I am also paving the way toward cool and memorable experiences.

And when even this doesn’t work, I always have Leslie Knope and Indian takeout.





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