Teens such as yourself
make this place a home and are often reluctant to leave. But before you drown
yourself in tears, there is a road to your salvation, if you have about $1,500
and a month or more to spare.
What you need to do is fly to a
country called Korea, preferably the one south of the place where Kim Jung Ill
lives. The Korean society will be more effective than any pills, cuts, or even
pot, for if you ever define yourself as "emo," you will get strange stares for
calling yourself "aunt," which is what "emo" means in Korean.
The first step to your recovery is
All airports support your cause to
escape because they will automatically take away your razors or any other sharp
objects. It's an international effort that not only stops careless terrorism,
but also stops the rapid growth of the emo culture.
When you arrive at the Incheon
international airport, have your host family pick you up from the airport. When
you first meet them, don't be alarmed if they marvel at the fact that your black
hair seems darker than theirs.
You will blend in easily, thus
unintentionally conforming to what you tried to resist in the first place.
The fastest way to your cure happens
to be the Korean education system. Your cloak of hair will be ordered to be cut
by the school administration, exposing your eyes to the world outside of your
In accordance to the same standards,
your hair cannot be dyed. Furthermore, expressing your sorrow through your
clothing is not an option, for you will have to wear a standard school uniform.
Instead of reaching for any mind
altering chemicals or crying about your razors being taken away by the airport
officials, eat like a Korean and express yourself by crying through kimchee and
fresh green chili peppers dipped in spicy hot chili sauce. It's more affordable
than a new razor blade or a relationship.
The most important change will be in
your health life.
Does driving or riding the bus to
school, eating fatty and processed food, and living a largely sedentary life
sound familiar? It's a typical suburban American teenage life. And your
girl-jean-perfect body shape is crying out for some vitamins.
To successfully get out of Emoland,
you need a sound mind and a healthy lifestyle. Korean people generally walk a
lot more than suburban Americans. Driving around, especially in the cities, can
be a hassle and traffic jams are quite common. So instead of dealing with that,
well-established bus and subway systems can aid your transportation.
Since everything is pretty condensed
in this small country, people walk to the bus and subway stations near them and
then walk again to wherever they need to go.
Food is also healthier in Korea.
Everywhere you go, you can eat Korean
food, including 떡복이 (dduck-bok-yee),
a popular snack food that consists of chewy rice patties that are about the size
of small sausages along with hot sauce, fish patties, onions, and other
vegetables. The most authentic way to eat it is to purchase it from a street
You will also find noodles, 김밥 (it
sort of resembles sushi), tons of vegetables, 짜장면 (black
bean sauce with noodles that are sold in all Chinese food places in Korea), and
other Korean foods.
Or, you can try one of many pizza
places in Korea, including Pizza Hut, Papa John's, Domino's, Mr. Pizza (A Korean
pizza franchise), and other local pizza places. Don't think that you will get
the same kind of pizza from these places like you would in the U.S.
Korean pizzas seem to be more
creative. At Pizza Hut in Korea, it is nothing new for pizza crusts to have
sweet potato and cheese.
The best part is knowing that you are
eating much better quality food in Korea for less than what you would pay in the
U.S. Food can make people happy and just by looking at the wealth and variety of
food offered in Korea, it seems obvious that people will never go emo about
The most critical lesson you have to
learn is finding the will to live. This is often obtained by learning to
appreciate what you already have. The Korean society and the education system
will definitely help you.
By the time Korean students are in
high school, they get about two weeks of real vacation, without any classes.
During the pseudo-vacation period,
about a month for summer and two months for winter, students are technically
off, but all students report to school for non-mandatory classes. Intense social
pressure dictates that these students study like they always do, except for a
week in the summer and another in the winter that are truly a break
If that isn't enough to like American
schools more, all Korean high school students almost always need to attend
classes until around 10 p.m. for what they call 야자 (ya-ja),
which means night study. If your high school is somehow lucky enough to not have
such a long ya-ja, you will most likely have to head to 학원 (haak-won),
roughly translated as a private academy, where you will study any subject that
you need extra help in. This usually includes math, English, science and other
areas of interests such as art and music.
These educational practices are
perfectly accepted by the Korean society and you will be too sleepy to complain.
After about a month of living such a life, I am sure that you will appreciate
your American school a lot more and your symptoms of emo-ness will quickly
Who has time to write sad love songs
and think about death when your teachers will throw chalk sticks at you to keep
you awake to study?
During the precious time when you are
not in school or in haak-won, you will learn the lesson of confidence through
singing. Karaoke bars are everywhere and in Korea, karaoke places are called 노래방 (noe-rae-baang),
literarily translated as the "singing room." Noe-rae-baangs are common places
for any Korean to have fun.
You can't say that you have truly
been to Korea if you have not been to a noe-rae-baang and sang. Being a
foreigner at your Korean high school will make you quite popular and I am pretty
sure that you will have no trouble finding some friends who will take you to a
Don't fret if you do not know any
Korean songs, for there's tons of American/English songs to choose from,
featuring artists such as Britney Spears, Maroon Five, 50-cent, Greenday, and
much more. There are always Korean songs, American/English songs, and Japanese
songs at every noe-rae-baang, and sometimes it features songs in other languages
if they are popular, such as "Dragostea Din Tei" by
If your Korean friends are real
friends, they will make you
sing and make you
drink some soju, which tastes like fermented vodka, and some rice alcohol. Such
friendly practices will help you finally gain some confidence in other
categories besides break-up song writing.
After you live in Korea for at least
a month as a high school student, you will learn that there is honestly nothing
to be emo about regarding the
American education system when you compare it to the Korean system.
Long vacations, an earlier dismissal
time, and no clothing restrictions all seem too good to be true after you get
used to Korean schools.
Not only that, but the Korean way of
life seems to offer no time for emo-ness.
After a month of living a Korean
teen's lifestyle, your inner emo-ness will