Ever since stepping into my very first class of my very first day in High School I have had a sincere, dedicated interest in learning the Japanese language. I initially pursued learning Japanese with no intention other than to become bilingual (I saw it as a challenge compared to the Spanish, French, and German language classes available); I have always believed that it is a mark of the well-educated to be bi- or multilingual, even though now, after living in Japan, I recognize that it is often also determined by mere circumstance or chance (growing up in a bilingual household, living in different countries, etc.). Ever since my freshman year of high school, even though the classes I was able to take did not offer much in the way of progress, I have made it a major goal to pursue the language to the fullest extent of my abilities. Making progress in the language in Japan has reminded me of how difficult this task is, why learning the language would be valuable to me, as well as how satisfying it would/will be to finally become fluent. All it takes is a stroll through a bookstore in Japan to remind me of what I would gain by learning the language, even when I have so far to go. In all honesty, being completely immersed in a non-English-speaking nation has gotten me a bit weary of studying for the moment, but I plan to relaunch my efforts as soon as possible, in time for my next semester abroad in Japan. I believe that my personal drive and love for learning will take me there some time soon.
In the future, I might like to employ my knowledge of the Japanese language in a creative or professional sense. Though I would not make it a career, interpreting and translation is something that I take much joy in. I’ve always thought the nuance and variability of language to be infinitely interesting, and I would love to explore this through translation. If I am able to find any way to incorporate Japanese in to a Computer Science career, I would surely like to do that as well. Seeing the modern innovation and conveniences that Japan has to offer has inspired in me a want to introduce these kinds of conveniences to the U.S. The simple introduction of convenience store culture as it is in Japan would help many people—especially us University students! Even though the United States might not have cause for some aspects and adaptations of contemporary Japanese culture, there are a great deal of institutions that the U.S. could look to Japan to improve upon: Environmental awareness, cheap public transit, recycling, conservation, etc. Japan has a lot to offer the world, and my study abroad travels to Japan have awoken me to these many differences and similarities: aspects of life that should be shared.