Let’s get real for a second; living and teaching in a foreign country can take its toll. No matter where you go, there will be days when your students and colleagues will feel unreachable to you, the language incomprehensible, the culture impenetrable.
When these moments arrive, it’s important to remind yourself that:
1. Mama said there’ll be days like this
It’s also really important that you remember where you come from, just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, and remember what the wise man said:
2. Don’t stop believing
There will be good days and bad days, but no matter how heavy the monsoon:
3. The sun will come out tomorrow
Or, if you prefer Kim Tae Hyun’s 2011 rendition:
Sometimes, you may feel caught between a rock and a hard place. It happens when you’re living abroad and trying to fit into a culture you don’t always understand. The best advice you can heed while living here, is to take a deep breath and:
4. Let it go
After all, when you look at the grand scheme of things, you’re really just another:
5. Brick in the wall
Here’s a protip, if you have a particularly unruly bunch of eight-year-olds (Korean age, six-year-olds in Western age), dim the lights, crank up the temperature and in the background play some soothing music from:
6. Relaxing Piano Studio Ghibli Complete Collection
The last song is up to you, for when you feel a little homesick. Choose a song that reminds you of where you come from, a song that makes you happy, and hum it to yourself every time you feel like a fish out of water. If you’re South African, you might just recognise this one:
What songs do you listen to help you cope?
Don’t forget to smile.