A Brief Jikoshoukai
Ohayou gozaimasu from Japan! Although, by this time, it will probably be the evening for everyone in the States. As of right now, this is the marker for my first week in Japan! I’m so excited to be here- everything is so wonderful, different, and amazing- as it should be, since I went through so much to actually be here!
For those who don’t know me yet, I am Amanda. I’m a senior in college at Purdue University in Indiana- a long, long way away from Japan and any really big city. I grew up on a very rural farm on the banks of the river that cuts through my home state, the Wabash. Growing up, I was always fascinated with anything and everything Japanese- but admittedly, anime is what got me started on everything. I devoured anything anime-related that I could find, which turned out to be quite difficult since it hadn’t yet become popular and wide-spread in my town at that point.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I was able to take official Japanese classes. Before that, I had learned tidbits here and there on my own in preparation for what would become the highlight of my life. Even at such an early age, I knew that studying Japanese was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It resonated within me in a way that nothing had before, and gave me a reason to exist in some of the darkest parts of my life.
After I left high school and was accepted into the college of my dreams, it seemed only natural to continue making Japanese a priority. After I talked to a guidance counselor I also decided to add on East Asian Studies to further my career options and enhance my Japanese education. My third major, Women’s Studies, followed a month or so after classes began, after my first couple of women’s studies classes.
Through my first three years of college, studying abroad didn’t seem like an option: I was poor and scared of stepping out of my comfort zone. However, after some careful prodding from a couple of my best friends and my sisters, I decided to attend the annual study abroad fair. Once there, I armed myself with information to combat both my financial and emotional setbacks. For the first time, studying abroad seemed possible: Japan (because, without question, that is where I wanted to go) was within reach.
Four months later, I was on a plane to Narita, Japan. Since then, I’ve had so many wonderful and amazing experiences and adventures- I can’t wait to write about them! For me, this chance has been a dream come true: I keep expecting to wake up in my apartment in Indiana and find out it was all an amazingly wonderful dream. It’s a little hard to keep myself from floating up and taking up a permanent residence on Cloud 9- but that’s ok, too. For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I intend to float breezily upon the clouds and absorb everything I can.