For most people, the decision to leave work and study at a university overseas takes a lot of courage. I made this big gamble 3 years ago, the same year as the Great East Japan Earthquake, an unforgettable event for Japanese people.
That disaster taught me to live for the moment. It taught me that the tangible things will crumble. I saw homes and utility poles that were tilted. Manholes jutted out of the sidewalks and water flowed over roads. At that time, I lived in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture. Urayasu was one of the most heavily-damaged cities in the Kanto region. Even now, I clearly remember the sight of my city in ruins. “The tangible things will crumble.” On the other hand, intangibles things, such as friendships, memories, knowledge and experience cannot be taken away from us by disaster. My decision to study abroad was based on this realization.
Currently, I am majoring in communication at the University of Hawaii. I am studying about ICT, multimedia, digital cinema and public relations. These classes will contribute to my specialization in PR and advertising.
In a foreign country, I started studying together with students who are native speakers of English. At first, I couldn’t understand most of what my professors and classmates were saying. I was often confused. However, I progressed to the point where I was invited by the National Honor Society, composed of outstanding students from throughout the United States with academic records in the top 15% of their university. I am also an Honor Student in my major and have received an academic scholarship. My name always appears on the Dean’s List each term.
Of course, I was a hard-working student, studying approximately 6 hours every day. Along with my study habit, my friends and professors always helped me. University students in the U.S. study really hard. The library is open 24 hours a day and it is always full of students. Students here are more engaged during class. Even so, I have been able to achieve outstanding academic results thanks to what I learned at Chuo University. In addition to legal knowledge, I obtained logical thinking ability applied to everything such as forming a multifaceted perspective, extraction of problems, and gathering information, conducting analysis and finding solutions. These skills are great assets in my life.
Modern society is changing rapidly. Technological evolvements create new demands on working professionals. We live in a time that requires constant studying to keep up with the trend.
My former boss at an advertising agency once told me the following: “You will consume all your knowledge that you learned during the 4 years at university in your first year at our company. You must always be on the lookout and acquire new knowledge.” These words have had a great impact on my motivation for working. I believe you should continue to learn—you alone decide if learning is arduous or enjoyable. The answer will change your life. In truth, learning gives you the “cards” to gain the upper hand. That is the meaning of learning and why I continue to study.