Before coming to Temple this past August, I lived a fairly sheltered life. I grew up in Washington Township, New Jersey, which is pretty much a small town when compared to a big city like Philadelphia. For most of my life, I had rarely ventured outside of my quiet township, and I was quite happy living within my little bubble. So the prospect of moving to the Temple dorms and living in a big city with kids I had never met before was a bit terrifying to say the least.
When I first toured Temple’s campus as a high school student, our tour guide spoke about Temple’s Study Abroad Program as if it were the opportunity of a lifetime. I remember thinking there was no way I would ever consider taking such a huge journey. I was wondering how I would ever learn to make it safely across Broad Street. . . there was certainly no way I would ever be brave enough to study abroad.
As I settled into my freshmen year in the Honors dorm, I found myself doing things I never thought I’d do. I was joining clubs such as the BHSA, GAMMA, and even the Anime club, where I joined the group on a bus trip to New York City this past fall – a place I never thought I’d venture alone. This year, I also became a Committee Member for the BHSA Fundraising Committee. This position has forced me to really put myself in situations I never thought I’d be in. Just recently, I had to go around campus to local businesses, asking them to donate prizes for our last fundraiser. With each new experience, my confidence in myself has grown. Along the way I have also made many new friends and truly learned how to live on my own. So when I found out Temple had a campus in Japan, a country whose culture has always fascinated me, the prospect of studying abroad suddenly seemed much less scary to me.
Now as I prepare for my program, I am excited to embark on this amazing journey. My hope is that I will not only learn about the Japanese culture but that I will also make even more friendships along the way. I realize now that this summer semester in Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I intend to take full advantage of all that Temple Japan has to offer. This blog will be my way of documenting my journey, so that one day, I can share it not only with my family and friends, but also with other students, who might be afraid to travel abroad like I was.