So…. Easter break is officially over, and I’m back at work (currently spending my coffee break writing this post feeling that I deserve a break given that I was teaching the earliest class of the day right after a week of vacation).^^

It has been one of my most productive weeks (Korean-wise) in a very long time. I’ve been reviewing, learning, reading, shadowing, listening and watching several hours a day, and having so much time to study truly makes a tremendous difference.

I’ve also hesitantly started looking at my TOPIK preparation book “TOPIK master – intermediate” from Darakwon. I’m aware that the new format makes this version a bit outdated, but I’m mainly using it to familiarize myself with the style and types of questions. I bought the book from a month or so ago, but until now it has merely been on proud display in my Korean section of my bookshelf. (Yes, within 8 months I have managed to purchase so many Korean books, that I have an entire section for them. ^^ Last time I counted 21 books. And I have quite a few on my wishlist too.)

…But back to the point. Do you ever feel that you sometimes need a long runway before taking off? I do, and I think I know why too. When I first got accepted as a graduate student, I was super happy the week before I started. In that time, knowing that I would start, but not having actually started, I could easily imagine myself being the d… best graduate student of economics the world had ever known. All the while being aware that when I would actually enrol in the study program I would quickly realize how little I knew about anything, and how much I would have to struggle to pull through. Being on the other side, I can safely say that those years weren’t all that hard, but when I say that I was not the best graduate student the world ever saw, I’m not lying either. Anyway, that sweet short time before you embark on a new challenge is amazing, because you can picture yourself doing amazing stuff. So, you basically want to extend that period as much as possible. In other words, you want a long runway before you take off.

I guess I’ve felt the same way about my TOPIK book. With my goal being the TOPIK 2 in October, and koreanstudentblog kindly reminding me with every post that time indeed is quickly passing by, I couldn’t bear to realize exactly how far away I still am from that goal. Imagining that the test wouldn’t be that difficult and that I was probably already able to pass seemed far more appealing. But just as with my three years as a graduate student, things turned out less perfect than I had fantasized and also much less awful than I had feared (as most things in life tend to do). Granted, I couldn’t have answered all questions without my Naver dictionary, and certainly not within the allotted time frame, but still. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time really studying with my TOPIK books certainly confirmed that I still have a long way to go, but also that going the distance is possible.


  1. Hahaha sorry for sharing the not-so-quiet desperation that is creeping up on me!

    The first time I did a mock TOPIK I was terrified when I saw the result. I guess there is a balance where you have to do them regularly to see the improvement and figure out what needs more work, but doing them too often is counterproductive because it takes time from actual studies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha, at least for another week or so I can safely tell myself that the TOPIK is not for another 6 months… But arghh, I’m well aware of how short time that really is. I definitely agree with the balance issue. I was just about to reach for my TOPIK books again tonight, and then decided to mainly doing mock tests on weekends and instead dedicate my weekday study sessions to other things. 🙂


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