Beanie level: Eunuch in drag

A year ago today I sat down to watch the first episode of a show called Crash Landing on You that I knew very little about, but that was casually recommended to me. I thought, “I’ll just watch part of this while I eat lunch, and finish the episode tonight.” When I came to, 71 minutes later, my lunch was still uneaten (subtitles take focus, it turns out), I felt like I was coming up for air in the best way, and I was beginning to have a feeling that I had stumbled upon something big.

I had no idea how big.

It was only later, when I was on my third drama, that I started to articulate what it was that I found so captivating about them, especially compared to US-based tv. Yes, I loved that they told a complete story, instead of being dependent on the season-system and yes, I loved the episodes that didn’t seem to depend on commercial breaks to build suspense. But I also loved that they just felt like more. They were unapologetically more dramatic, or sweet, or cute, or tense than other shows, in a way that felt unselfconscious, but at the same time aware of what they were doing. And I loved learning about all the nuances in dramas as I watched more and read more, and eventually started learning more about the language.

I think they really came to me at just the right time in my life. I had just finished a really stressful graduate degree a couple of months earlier, and was still having trouble dealing with the burnout from the years I had spent working on it. I started watching K-dramas because they were good and I loved them, but as I kept going, I started to notice myself doing things that I hadn’t done in years. Like reading deeply about a topic just for fun. Or picking up a hobby that was challenging and took practice. I just hadn’t had the headspace to do anything like that in a really long time. I’d kind of forgotten that I used to enjoy those things. I’m sure that some of the improvement was just distance from the degree itself, but I also think that dramas gave me something to focus on that didn’t require me to be skilled – didn’t ask anything of me – and that felt important, and refreshing.

Nowadays, I’m pretty happily hooked, and really loving the community of other drama-lovers here on Dramabeans. It’s been so much fun participating in and learning more about this wide, wonderful, and sometimes weird universe, so thanks everyone! I’ll see you in the comments.

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    What you describe so elegantly is exactly how I became hooked on kdramas as well. It came at the right time as I needed something to clear my head as well. I started playing piano again; something I’d not done in 15 years. I’m playing violin and singing (will be doing the Bach double this weekend with my daughter). Again things I’ve not done in decades. It’s been so good for me. I’ve exercised more under the guise of watching dramas while doing so. I’ve been here in this community since 2016! A baby by many standards—well, maybe preschooler. Welcome!!!

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      Wow! Learning new things about you all the time, violin is one of the harder instruments to learn surely? Well done you. I hope that the weekend event goes well with your daughter💪.

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        I catching all you guys up. The “Do you like Brahms!” Recaps had several musical beanies offering analysis, and so most people found that little fact out about me the then.

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          Oh wow will check those weecaps out. Yes because we are the newbies we are late to the party. 😊

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      Thanks so much, Ally! I’m glad that they were and continue to be a healthy influence in your life too.

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    Thanks for sharing your story lovely to get to know you. It sounds like post degree get your life back rehab was helped a lot by the joy of K dramaland. I wish I had known about it back when I was studying.
    Hope that you continue to enjoy your journey and having fun in DB world this community is great so pleased to have you here.

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    Ermm would you like to do one for me? I think I’d love to get the degree but I don’t wanna do the work!!!

    Kidding 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    And yes, study burnout is real. All too real.

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      HAHAHAHA no.

      Seriously though, I don’t think I could do another. When it was good, it was really great. But often it was not, and then it was just awful. I’m still glad that I did it, and that I finished, but it’s hard for me to even recommend graduate school to anyone anymore. I at least want to be sure they have a realistic picture of what it can be before they dive in.

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        Do you think it was partly because of the pandemic and online learning? You said you just finished your study months ago, so I assumed you spent the past part of your study studying online. As far as I’m concerned, that’s also draining.

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          I’m sure it was partly that. The last year and a half of the degree, I was working completely remotely. I wasn’t taking classes at that point, just doing research, so I was lucky to be able to make the transition pretty seamlessly and continue with my work. And I am quite happy working from home most of the time, but the stress of living with the pandemic looming overhead constantly was a factor, I’m confident. Also, I was working with two advisors who were both dealing with their own challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic, and that made it more difficult. But it was also plenty stressful pre-March 2020, so I know the burnout wasn’t entirely a result of covid.

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            I see. First of all, congratulations. Your effort and everything have paid out and you should be extremely proud of yourself. I see having 2 advisors have it’s negative sides to it, too. And I agree that graduate school isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t have been in one if I hadn’t had reasons for completing it.

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    You had me at “especially compared to US-based tv”. 🙂

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