I try to make a habit of practicing gratitude and give thanks for all the wonderful things I have going on in my life. I find this daily practice particularly helpful in a year where none of us are having the 2020 we had planned or hoped for. One of the things that made me struggle the most during lockdown was that I couldn’t go to the library to study. While we’re in no way out of the woods yet, I’m so happy and thankful that the library has finally reopened (obviously with hand sanitizer everywhere and strict distancing regulations).

I usually go to the library’s study hall every weekday afternoon and spend a couple of hours doing what I enjoy doing the most. Studying Korean. Surrounded by shelves upon shelves of old books, I allow myself to become completely immersed in my Korean books. While reading, I jot down fragments of sentences, grammar points, interesting vocabulary, or whatever is on my mind. I swear two hours at the library fly by as if they were minutes.

My study setup. Currently re-reading Sogang Korean 4 to polish off my intermediate Korean speaking patterns. My stainless steel tumbler from Starbucks in Hapjeong, my set of essential pens, a refillable water bottle, my beloved spiral notebook and my Mac. Happiness galore!

It may sound weird, but if you know me, you know that nothing makes me happier than learning or in some way working with Korean. I love that I live right across the street from the main campus library and can go there whenever I want. I feel so productive and accomplished whenever I go, so when I challenged myself to name my happy place the study hall ranked #1.

I also enjoy walking and aim to walk at least 10,000 steps every single day. Not just for the obvious health benefits but for the positive effects walking has on my mind and my mental wellbeing. For me, walking is the perfect way to get some space and clear my mind. Sometimes I also listen to audiobooks or podcasts while walking and use my walks as passive study time.

I frequently take walks in my outdoor happy place – the on-campus lake park. You can see the library tower in the background.

Since we’re on the topic of places that make me happy, I can’t leave out my balcony. It faces south-west and the unusually warm August has provided the most stunning sunsets and evening skies I’ve seen in a long time.

My view before going to bed.

As you can see, I’m lucky to have quite a few happy places. Places where I’m free to be who I am and do what I want to do. What’s your happy place?


  1. The library can be such a relaxing/healing place for an adult. I have a baby and now the home is no longer a place of peace and the library has become a haven for me. Good luck on your topik test it is a tough 3.5 ride!

    Liked by 1 person

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