Friday, November 16, 2012

The first term of university

Without me noticing, I've become a full-fledged university student as the curtain falls on the Autumn term of my freshman year. Lessons have ended, my finals are over, and I only have a final report left to write for one of my courses. The weather is turning and it's most definitely not summer anymore, contrary to what my dressing might suggest (I came bearing a wardrobe from an equatorial land, okay?).

I guess I'm supposed to reflect on how life has been as a university student, but honestly speaking, it's still so surreal. I'm hardly behaving like a university student, so my mind hasn't registered that fact yet. My JLP is so painfully low-level that I feel like I'm in some free language lesson at a community centre, not in a university. I only took 2 other courses besides JLP, so my days were excessively free, and I really might just be on a 4-year holiday after all.

But that could all change when when results for the Autumn term come out, and my GPA turns out to be something horrifying. I have yet to get a job, and honestly don't want to. I mean- I want the money, but I don't want the work. I had an interview that was postponed then cancelled because the kid wanted a male tutor. ¬_¬ I guess it's fate for me not to get a job.

Honestly, much of the past 2+ months I've spent playing and living a true university lifestyle- the non-educational part of it. Being in a dorm is really awesome because I'm around my friends 24/7, and it really is true that dorm students tend to have their social lives revolve around other dorm students (in that majority of my friends are from my dorm or the dorms we frequently associate with).

I have to say that living in a dorm is probably the only thing keeping me sane right now. I can't even say that shopping keeps me sane anymore because I've been too poor to shop in over a month. If I hadn't been in a dorm, I'd probably be living in an apartment alone. It's not just about having a roommate, but also neighbours and two whole floors or friends. If it's an apartment, I highly doubt I'd even fraternise with the people next door. After all, In my 10 years of living in my family's apartment in Singapore, I'd never spoken to any of my neighbours. Ever.

Hence, if I was living alone in an apartment, I'd probably never have the chance to make so many friends and have so much fun, and I'd also be extremely, extremely lonely. Before coming to Tokyo, I already predicted that I was gonna be so lonely and sad living by myself away from my family for the first time. Fortunately, since coming to the dorm, I've been surrounded by people 24/7 so much that I have never had the chance to feel lonely. That's not to say I don't miss my parents, but the fact is that I share a room with someone, people visit, and I visit other rooms all the time, I'm socialising every waking hour, and it elevates loneliness in the best possible way.

I've made so many friends here that I never expected to be so 仲良し with when I first met them. I get along awesomely with my roomie, and I really couldn't ask for anyone perfecter to be my first roommate ever (her ego is gonna inflate so much when she sees this, and she's gonna bring it up every time I say something about her again... do I really wanna upload this?). My next-door neighbours on both sides have also unexpectedly ended up becoming the people I hang out with most. I say unexpectedly because they're totally different from my first impressions of them. TBH, in my first 2 weeks of dorm life, I really hated it because I hadn't gotten used to it yet, and I REALLY missed my parents. But now, I never wanna move out of 3WD for the rest of my life.

Of course, while most of my life revolves around the dorm, I do have friends outside of it. I get along well with some girls from my cohort (16 Septens), and I have friends from some of the other dorms too. Oh gosh, that sounds so 微妙... Ok whatever. I'm anti-social, sue me.

I can honestly say that I love my life here, although it could be made perfecter if my parents moved here. I don't really wanna ever go back to Singapore again, and if I miss anything, it's probably the cheapness of stuff. And if you force me to, I'll admit I do miss the chicken rice. And my BPC, which goes without saying. And cereal prawn and ZMT. Aaaaaanyway, my mom and grandma are coming in a weeks' time (which means I have less than that to complete my report!!!), so I'm pretty excited. To see them, to make them bring me for BPC and cereal prawn, to finally shop again, and TO BE ON HOLIDAY YEAHHHHH!

Aside from that, I have to admit that I've changed a little since coming here. I guess environment and social circle really do shape a person. I feel like I've become dumber ever since I started hanging out with Mai... Now other people are starting to classify me with her, even though I'm supposed to be smart. Kinda. Not to mention I've become even more carefree than before, in that I really don't care about anything anymore. I used to be such an OCD clean freak, and I still am, but not even half as much as before. And yes, my hygiene level has tragically gone down since I moved into 3WD... However, I do take pride in the fact that my neighbouring rooms are much messier/dirtier than mine (yes, Alyssa and Mai, I'm talking about you guys).

Before some people come to give me flack about my personality changing, I'd like to say that it hasn't- what was previously suppressed has merely been unleashed. I'm turning 19 in slightly over a month, and that's gonna be my last teen year already. Should I choose to remain in Japan after uni, I'd have to start 就活 in my 3rd year, meaning I'd have no choice but to buckle down, dye my hair dark, and be まじめ about life. This means I only have that little youth left, and I need to have the last of my fun before I get turned into an adullt.

Veering off topic, I realise that this blog is kinda spiralling downward. I used to care so much about views and had my peak before coming to Tokyo, with several thousand views per month. I'd write for viewers with lotsa photos, and wouldn't do wordy, personal posts like this. That's cos I was 非常に暇 back then. Now I hardly even update. I'm too busy, and I've come to want to write more because I don't keep a diary anymore. But at the same time, I don't have the time or energy to write like this very often. That's why my posts become photo dumps with captions, and only once every few weeks. I do wonder why I can so easily write all this in one sitting, but over a few days I still can't write as much as this for my report.

Anyway, I can't think of anything else I want to say (at least not on a public domain) right now, so savour this post- there probably won't be another like this for another term.



  1. Hi,サニーさん! Currently I live in Europe, and I am becoming セプテン next year.
    And I have some questions.
    Do most of Septems live in a dorm? Is it minor for Septems to not live in a dorm?cuz I am probably going to live with my parents for another 2 yrs, and I am slightly worried about making friends.. T_T
    Another question is; Is it mandatory to take PE regardless of which JLP you'll be put it?

    1. Hi! So you will be entering ICU in September 2014?

      There are 2 kinds of septens- the kind who has been brought up in international schools here and live with their parents, so they commute to ICU. The second kind would be those who lived overseas, including returnees and foreigners, so they either rent an apartment somewhat in the area and commute, or live in the dorms. I'd say majority of foreign septens like myself live in dorms.

      For every 4-year regular, regardless of April or Septen, you have to take 2 credits of PE (=6 terms=2 years), no matter what. However, there is also 2 credits of PE Lectures that have to be taken, which you will be exempted from only if you place JLP3 and below.

      I hope I've answered your questions!

  2. I will be joining ICU this fall :D Mannn... I wish I never had to take PE again but I guess I just gotta suck it up then T_T

    Thank you so much for a fast reply!
    Also, thanks for posting ICU updates! It's extremely helpful^^

    1. Congrats on getting admitted to ICU! You mentioned living with your parents for another two years- does that mean they live in Tokyo?

      And if you don't hate physical activity as much as I do, you'll probably be fine with the PE here. You get to choose your own sports/activities after the first two terms- I'm doing archery this term.

  3. Thanks!
    No, I am going back to Japan with my parents :)

    Haha, I am the laziest person so I'm sure the first two semesters will be a horror.. but I am reliefed to hear that you get to choose your own after the first two terms!

    1. Aah I see. Don't worry about making friends cos there are lots of circles and clubs you can join here. You'll also have section mates, so if you place in Special Japanese for returnees you'll be with lots of other septens. Unfortunately, if you place in regular JLP like me, you'll be surrounded by OYRs. Either way, most non-dorm students join circles or clubs so don't worry about it.

  4. Replies
    1. One-Year Regulars. Exchange students only around for 3 terms = 1 year.