• mio

living and learning



Hi!It’s Mio! It has been one month after I graduated from university. My major was English, so I was mainly studying English, but I learnt many new things besides English throughout the four years, like the importance of saying my thoughts to people and the importance of looking from a global perspective. So today, I am going to share about the changes in my thinking after I entered university.


Firstly, my ideas changed from tackling my anxieties about my future. Before I entered university, I thought that I would study English really hard, then when I become a senior, I would go job hunting, and after I graduate, I would work to have a stable life. I wanted to be an English teacher, so I took many classes to be a teacher when I was a freshman. However, I realized that it is not what I want to do, because I started to become more interested in editing and creative work. So at that time, I started thinking about my future seriously. Until this time, my goal was to be an English teacher, so I only had to do what I need to be a teacher. But since I started to want to do something else, I started thinking about how I should live to be able to do what I want to do, and how I should live to have a satisfying life.


I am the type of person who is interested in various things and there were lots of things I wanted to do, so it was difficult for me to decide what was best for me. So when many friends around me started job hunting, I was still looking for what I wanted to do. I was not completely sure about what I wanted to do but I was just starting to realize my passions. I still went job hunting, and I submitted my entry paper to some companies (Entry paper = a survey-like submission form that is part of the Japanese job hunting and application process). However, I started thinking that I don’t have to hurry, I don’t have to do job hunting just because everyone around me is, and it’s fine if I take time to think about my future. Of course, I had some anxieties about not having a secure job after graduation, but I started to think that I don’t need to walk the conventional path.


And now, I’ve finished job hunting, and from the end of May, I am going to start working as a web director in my hometown! (I started job hunting after all my classes finished.) My dream of going to Tokyo didn’t come true, but I am so excited because I can do what I want to. I started my job hunt later than everyone around me, but it was the best decision for me to take time to find out what I want to do. Before I entered university, I was afraid of doing things differently from people around me, but I think I was able to grow from making my own path at a different pace than others.


My second change was having new ideas from broadening my perspective by studying English and starting new things. The best thing I started to think about is LGBT+ stuff. I’ve been into English-singing artists since high school, and I did like gossip magazines about Western celebrities, so I think I was interested in it earlier than my friends around me.

その頃はミュージカルドラマの『glee / グリー』に夢中になっていた時期で、その中にカートというとてもチャーミングな男の子が出てくるんだけど、彼はゲイなの。そのカート役をしていた、クリス・コルファー自身もゲイなんだけど、その事実がとても自分にとって新鮮な事だったのを覚えてる。私はそれまでマイノリティの人々を取り入れているドラマや映画を観たことがなかったから、こんな風に世界中の人々が見ることのできるドラマの中で、マイノリティの人々を取り入れていることにとても衝撃を受けたし、感動した。

At that time, I was really into Glee. In this show, there is a charming boy whose name is Kurt, and he is gay. Chris Colfer who plays Kurt is also gay, and that was so new to me. I had never seen any shows or movies that incorporate minorities, so I was surprised and impressed by how a show that everyone all over the world can watch had minorities in it.


After I entered university, there were many opportunities where I could learn about issues abroad while studying English. So many friends around me had flexible ideas about LGBT stuff, and we shared our ideas. At my seminar’s presentation, we studied LGBT with four members including me! (For this project, we studied LGBT ”QAI” .)


I actually have a friend who is gay, and he told me that there was a lot of trouble and conflict, but he feels better by being open about it. And until this time, I just knew the fact that “there are minority people in this world”, but now I think more deeply like, “how can they live more openly?” and “what is their position in Japan?” This is not only from his story, but also from shows, movies, famous people coming out, and sad crimes aimed at minorities.


We are all humans who are living on this planet, and I think it is a strange thing for minorities to be seen as strange or receive criticism for it. Everyone must be aware that people are hurt by some people’s unkind words and actions. I truly strive to always have a compassionate heart so we can live comfortably with each other.


There are more things that I learned from university, but I think I had more opportunities to think about these two things in particular. In thinking about my future, I was able to reflect on myself and I became interested in global issues like feminism, the MeToo movement, terrorist attacks, and refugee crises. I think I got something very valuable out of it.


From now on, I am going to live as a working member of society, but I think there are still lots of things to learn, and that I want to learn! I hope I will be able to not only know things, but also to be able to learn and absorb it.

Images by Mio

English Edited by Kiara

Edited by Eli and Hikari