As I’m writing this, it is officially 11 days until I depart for Japan for a whole year. Honestly, I’m more scared than excited, but that’s probably because I like to overthink and over complicate things. For one, I’m definitely nervous about the Japanese placement test I’ll have to take once I get there– I’m not sure how polished my Japanese actually is (especially since I haven’t been practicing all summer and I don’t consume like, any Japanese media) so I’m worried that I won’t get placed in the level I want to be at, which would really mess things up for me when I get back to my home university.
Something that’s been in the back of my mind since I applied for this study abroad program back in Fall was ‘Is this really the right thing for me to do? Would this really help me with my degrees or am I just using this as an excuse to travel to Japan?’ I try to go with the flow when I have worries like this because who knows, maybe this experience will go way better than I expected. That’s what usually happened in the past, but knock on wood. I’ve made countless emails and meetings with my department heads about class syllabi and how/if credits would transfer over, and even though everything checks out and I have some sort of security for successful credit transfer, I just can’t help but think ‘what if?’, you know?
Okay, I’m done being mopey. Although one last thing that I’m worried about, which is like, definitely something so insignificant to be worried about but here I am, is how am I gonna successfully get to my hotel and then to my host family’s home with this fat checked and carry-on suitcase?! Seriously, this checked suitcase is like, half the size of my body, it’s crazy!! And having to possibly carry it around on public transportation? Nuh uh. No way. I hate taking up more space than I need to and these suitcases are gonna be a pain. I’m probably gonna make another post about what I packed, so anyone out there who’s also studying abroad in the future can get some idea of what to bring and what not to bring.
I’m still kinda dazed at the fact that I’ll be staying in Japan for an entire year, like not even school year but calendar year. It’s always been a dream of mine to do some sort of immersion course or program, so I’m grateful that I can take this opportunity to gain some fluency in Japanese. Something I’ve learned in the language courses I’ve taken throughout the years is that you need to let go of your fear of speaking with 100% accuracy! You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes, and especially in an immersion experience where you’re surrounded by the target language 24/7, you’re bound to be also communicating in the target language and bound to make some mistakes, which is okay! I’m very excited to make every and any mistake while speaking and to learn from them. (Reading and writing are a whole different thing, but I’m not gonna get into that LOL)
Until then, I have a lot to pack. This whole “packing your whole life in two suitcases” thing isn’t that bad though! But we’ll see how I’m feeling when it’s the day before I have to leave and I’m freaking out over misplacing my favorite pen and how I won’t be able to leave without it.