Saturday, 20 December 2014


Tis the season to hear from Kouhai's. I've been so so happy (and flattered) that some of you new MEXT scholars have emailed me to tell me you got in! Every time I get the email, it makes my day. And since we're well into Christmas season, I thought it was time for a more reflective post.

Here's a pretty but completely unrelated painting to start. 
Recently, I got a comment from +Zahratul Amanah my Post-Exam Wrap-Up post. If you don't remember the post, basically, I was sad because my results were not as good as I wanted them to be, and I was feeling a lot of pressure about what to choose for my university.

Of course, two years down the road, you all can see that I'm absolutely happy with my choice of Kyudai, because I have awesome classes (Studio Ghibli class anyone?), good class, and loads of chances to travel. And wear pretty kimonos.

I'm not saying this to rub salt in anyone's wound, but I'm trying to encourage you guys. It might seem like a big deal, but it's really not the end of the world. Tani-sensei has said this before, that we foreign students come here thinking only of Todai. We think the only good university is Todai (and maybe Kyodai). But actually, it's this gradually sliding scale. There are loads of good universities. Hokkaido University, Kyushu University, Osaka University, Hitotsubashi University... there is more to life than Tokyo University. Plus, move out of Tokyo and your living costs go way down - that means more money for things like fun and traveling.

And remember, MEXT chose you to get the scholarship for a reason. You may not understand why, in fact, I still don't understand why I got the scholarship. Especially when it seems that everyone else are much smarter than you. But the fact is, there's something special about you that stood out. Don't you ever forget that.

So yes, study hard, don't even think about cheating and choose your university wisely. But please please please, don't stress about it too much. And if you guys ever need to talk about university applications or stress or whatever, feel free to comment/email me. I'm always here to support you guys. 一緒に頑張ろう!

Here's a pretty picture from Mount Aso - PLEASE CONSIDER KYUDAI! 

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