So I Graduated College in 2014

December 13, 2014 I achieved my goals of graduating college and being one of the first on my mother’s side of the family to have a Bachelor’s Degree. I know you are probably wondering how this is relevant to Japan, but I promise it is an important step on my way to the land of the rising sun.

This is College

I graduated from the University of West Florida on December 13, 2014. I found it funny, my date of graduation, since I graduated from high school on May 13, 2011. I now have my B.A. in Psychology, a minor in Child Welfare and I am certified to teach English as a second language (I got that one outside of college).

I am hoping to be able to teach English in Japan but if that doesn’t work out (which it will but it’s always nice to have a backup plan) I believe that I will go back to college to get my Ph.D. in School Psychology or get my teaching certification and move on to teaching in the states. My only problem with going back to school is that I really don’t know if I want to go back to school for 6 more years. The idea of this was daunting and I am hoping that it doesn’t come to that at the moment.

I have yet to find a job in my field since I graduated but I am looking all the time. The problem is that with my type of degree you really can’t do much until you have at least a masters in it. Where I live in Florida there isn’t really a need for anything really related to my degree so I am also looking in Georgia and Texas as well. I even moved to Texas for a few months just to try and find a job. I am also conflicted because I want to teach but I don’t exactly know where. I mean I know I want to teach in Japan but what would I want to teach if I end back up in the states.

OK, so I am straying off topic. College. I had a lot of fun while I was in college. I didn’t do that usual child gone wild, while I was there but I still had tons of fun.

Freshman

My freshman year was one of exploration. I had 2 roommates that didn’t work out my first semester and then I had 2 really awesome roommates my second semester. I met a lot of friends, some that only lasted freshman year and then some that I still keep in touch with. I joined fencing club… and two months later I quit. I was also in pep-band and my second semester I had a part-time job at a McDonald’s about 15-20 minutes away from the college.

Sophomore

My sophomore year was a new job as a resident assistant (RA). I met a lot of students and made friends with them, I planned programs, made schedules so I had time for everything and stated planning my future as a school psychologist. I mean I honestly had laid out what schools were potentials, what scholarships to choose, what apartments I wanted, and how I was going to get around. I also started a knitting club that had no meetings that year.

Junior

My junior year I was an R.A. again and my plans for school psychology were brought to a screeching halt when for an elective I took Japanese 1. Once I started taking those classes I attended all the volunteer activities, helped with the international students and made quite a few friends of all different backgrounds. The next semester I applied for the summer semester abroad program to Japan.  That was an experience I will never forget and from then on I just knew that I had to go back there.

Senior

My senior “year” was just one semester long. I had gotten extra credits for college in high school. I was a student desk assistant living in the on-campus apartments with a good friend and two Japanese foreign exchange students, named Kaori and Tsumugi, I will never forget. They really helped me open my eyes to the culture differences that I didn’t get to see in my 6 weeks stay in Japan. I always hope that I have shown them something about the American culture as well.

When I graduated it was great. My mom, brother, and one of my Japanese roommates was there. Along with my dad, my cousin (who is like a dad to me) his wife and kids and my grandmother. It was a long awaited time for me but I am so happy that I stuck it out and continued to go through college as planned instead of dropping out or settling for my A.A.

Now if you are still waiting to figure out how this connects to Japan then wow. But just to explain, I got back into my love for Japan in college. From there it grew from just what little I knew into so much more when I traveled for the first time to Japan. I fell in love with the country and just knew I was going to have to back.

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