Friday, September 2, 2016

Beginning My Year Abroad (Emma)

As I set out on this journey, I’ve found myself wide awake just a few hours before I leave for Japan. I’m all packed, and while most of me feels completely ready to make my way to Tokyo, a large part of me is second guessing myself. It’s not that I’m not excited for this experience (my friends can verify that it’s taken most of my self-control to stop talking about this upcoming year), but there are a lot of things that I need to consider.

One of the hardest things for me to wrap my brain around is the fact that I’m going to be ‘stuck’ in Japan for the next 11 months. While part of that sounds amazing, I feel like this will be one of the most challenging parts of my year abroad. My family and I are very close, and 11 months is the longest I’ve stayed apart by far. While I know I’ll have a great time, sitting down with some KFC is nowhere near to the Christmas celebration I’m used to. This has resulted in a lot of dog cuddling, hanging out with my brother, and small family outings. It’s going to be different, and to some extent I’m really ready for this push away from home, but in many ways it’s something that I’m unable to prepare myself for until I arrive in Japan. 
Last Day with my Dog
For this first time in my life, I’m also able to financially support myself (outside of school tuition). I’ve spent a lot of this past summer working over 40 hours a week which was a learning curve in itself, and after arriving in Japan it will be the first time I’m only relying on myself for food, essentials, and dorm fees. It’s nice to know that if I completely mess up I’m able to ask my family for help, but I think it’s going to be a good experience figuring out how to ‘be an adult’.

Other than that, there are many ways in which my language and cultural competency will improve, and I’m very excited to get to the point in which living in Japan feels mundane. I’ve got 11 months to find my favorite restaurants, cafes, tv shows and parks. So here I am, slightly anxious but mostly excited for my year at Rikkyo University, I just have to get on my plane and make it to Tokyo.

Plane Ride


Hannah said...

Money managing is one of my worries too, but so far I just need to remember to buy things besides food! Haha

Millie Fan said...

Millie (Xiyi) said
It's really expensive to live in Japan, especially in Tokyo!! It's spent me nearly 1/5 money (which I plan to spend in Japan) for only 2 days in Tokyo hahahah. A sad story.

Emma said...

Yeah Tokyo is really expensive, I've already spent a much larger portion of my spending money than I had wished. But after getting all my cooking utensils I'm finding that groceries aren't half that bad. I just have to cut down on extraneous costs for now :)