School has started up again in my province and for English teachers that means an end to the days of Netflix at our desks and wasting the time promised to studying Korean on Pokemon Go. For myself, classes were delayed an additional week which gave me plenty of time to stress about my plans for going home and my future. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing quite like an unplanned week of free afternoons to stir up a panic. I like to keep busy because when I’m not busy the clouds roll in and I’m swallowed by the existential crisis that is my twenties.

My work schedule this semester is completely different from last fall. I now teach exclusively at one school and I have two early morning classes. Though it took a few days to get my schedule from my coteacher (I think they build mine last?) I’m happy with it, in theory. As with any school, a new year brings change and I have 11 brand new coteachers to work with for the next two months. Several of the male homeroom teachers I taught with have gone to do their military service and the one teacher I worked with who was fluent in English has been bumped to first grade. I know that these little frustrations are just the way of life, as soon as you get your feet under you the rug is pulled out again. Honestly, as soon as I was able to start classes it made me so happy to see the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders I taught last school year sitting in the next year classrooms happily greeting me.

If I seem a little bitter, it’s only because I have fought with the worst bout of depression in my life while living abroad, but I know that this experience has changed me in ways that I have only just begun to understand.