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25 December 2010 @ 12:04 am
Glad to be a Japanese Studies major. Glad to be an Arashi fan. Glad to be your daughter, mum.  
A lot of people have been asking me "So what are you going to do with a Japanese Studies degree?", to the extent that I even said I'm gonna strangle the next person who asked me this taboo question. There were, as expected, people who asked the question after I said that but of course, I didn't strangle them. Cos what I realized is that instead of being frustrated at these people, I feel sad for them. Why do they only focus on the practical and tangible benefits studying brings? I just don't get it. Like how they don't get why I am majoring in Japanese Studies.

When people ask me, "What can you do in the future with a Japanese Studies degree?", what I really want to tell them is "To be honest, I don't know. (Then again, it's not like it's a dead end for Japanese Studies majors after they graduate) But what I am sure of is that I am happy where I am now. I am enjoying each and every moment of being a Japanese Studies major. I don't care if you think I am naïve or what, but this is all that matters to me now." But all I can do is to smile and say I don't know. And that smile, to be frank, is to conceal how foolish I think they are. Yes planning for the future is important. Having a job is important. I am aware of that. But I don't think it should take precedence over my own happiness. I have found something that I want to do, that I enjoy doing, and that's Japanese Studies. So, why not?

She has never asked me what I can do with a Japanese Studies degree. She has never forced me to study this or study that "because it is practical, because it has great job prospects" and whatnot. She has never told me not to major in Japanese Studies because "there's nothing, or limited jobs, you can do with that degree". She lets me have my way. My own way of thinking. My own way of making decisions. My own way of doing things. My own way of leading my own life. She knows that she is not the one studying; I am.

She knows that I am happy majoring in Japanese Studies. And I know that she's happy to see me happy. When I broke the news to her that Kyudai has accepted me, I saw her stifling a smile (that’s her trying to act nonchalant) but failed, of course.

Guess what, I am not the one who's the happiest knowing that I am going to Japan for SEP; she's the one.

Thank you, mum ♥

She's definitely the person I'm gonna miss the most when I'm in Japan.

At some point in time, I did want to change my major. From Japanese Studies to something else because, to be honest, my results for my Japanese Studies modules are like shit. But I held back. Because I really wanted to go to Japan for SEP. Given my sucky results, being a Japanese Studies major is the only way to do so because of the priority Japanese Studies majors get over the other students to go to Japan. Perhaps it is way too early for me to say anything because I haven't even embarked on my SEP journey but I'm really glad that I didn't change my major. And I know I won't regret. Ever.

And why did I want to go Japan for SEP so badly? Initially, it's cos of Arashi. But gradually, I realized that I want to for my own sake. I want to step out of my comfort zone. I want to get lost in Japan alone and find my way back, however afraid I am. I want to be independent. And so much more. And you know what, without Arashi, I may not even have this dream. I may not even have thought of trying new things for my own sake.

That's why Arashi is so important to me.

I have said this before but I'll say it again. I am proud to be a Japanese Studies major.

Perhaps even after reading all this, you guys still do not understand my way of thinking. I don't expect you to because I think it is hard, to the extent impossible, since the benefits I reap from majoring in Japanese Studies are not tangible which make them invisible to outsiders. But I thank you for reading till the end. That's all I need from you :)
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
(Anonymous) on December 24th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
I read it till the very end. =)
Just go ahead and realize your dreams, I'm sure you'll come back stronger and better! I'm very sure that you'll be able to find your own way =)

スターゲイザー: yama pair; 抱きしめてcuticlebeam on December 25th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks evey ♥
Camden: HYD / Pointingswtcamden on December 24th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
If LJ had the "like" option, I'd like this. :DD

About the whole "So what are you going to do with a Japanese Studies degree?"... I think that it's great that you're enjoying what you're studying. I studied biology and German studies because I enjoyed it. I had no idea what I was going to do either. I've now finally figured it out, but I'm glad that I did what I did. More power to you!

Your mom sounds wonderful! It's so nice to have a good support system like that. Here's to your mom! Kanpai!
スターゲイザー: arashi; member ai {24 hr tv}cuticlebeam on December 25th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)

I'm glad for you too! :)

Yea, without her support and understanding, it'll be hard for me to go my own way.
lydia.oviparous on December 24th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
my husband had a conversation with his friends the other day about singaporeans being afraid to rock the boat, i.e. singaporeans don't dare to come out of their comfort zones. we are happy to graduate, earn money, contribute to CPF and die in our HDB flats. he then said he is thankful he met me because if he didn't, his life wouldn't be interesting.

i said, 'yeah, i rock the boat like siao'.

he said, 'no, when i come onto the boat already got water because you straightaway puncture a hole in the floor'.

i think people who think your degree is irrelevant will probably be on their cruise to nowhere for a long long time. i have a friend who majors in art history and she get asked the same question as you do. she says she's going to work overseas; there's no market in singapore.

my husband majored in physics. the only thing he can do is teaching. he's a teacher. most of his friends are teachers or researchers. otherwise they are in totally unrelated fields, like insurance and army regulars. their conclusion is that there is no use to a physics degree. your options are so limited.

but for japanese majors (or other arts majors) i think at least the question is, 'what is out there for you?' it's not like physics, where you are faced with a couple of dead ends. there's a whole blank page when you think of that question, for majors like yours, and people should see that; that there is an endless story you can write.

i've applied for JET because it's the only way that will get me to japan. i'm quite fed up with how small-minded people can be in this country (not to say that people in japan aren't). as much as we can i think we need to dream and live our dream. not everyone can get to do this but if some of us can then we should. so, all the best for kyushu! stick to your guns. you deserve it.

okay this is too long and inappropriate for an LJ comment on someone else's blog, lol
スターゲイザー: aiba; 感謝cuticlebeam on December 25th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks Lydia ♥

I appreciate it a lot! So don't worry about it being long :) And it's not inappropriate!
Anne: [Hetalia] USAstarsbright on December 24th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
I think that it's great that you realized your dream and is going after it! It's awesome that your mom is there to support you too, so go ahead and accomplish your dream~

I'm going to Japan for school in the fall 2011 too^^ Maybe, we can meet up sometime :3 Though I'm not sure when you're gonna be there... hehe
スターゲイザー: sho; chipmunk <3cuticlebeam on December 25th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you ♥

Ah! I will be there in spring and summer. Would have returned to Singapore by fall :(

Edited at 2010-12-25 04:23 pm (UTC)
JQnasugya on December 25th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
It's great knowing that you really enjoy what you are studying and i can tell that for sure.

Good luck for the days to come, in Japan, i'm sure you will be able to take it! >3
And pleaseeeee do update this lj when you are there. *A*
スターゲイザー: matsumiya - 5x10 concert ♥cuticlebeam on December 25th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thank youuuu ♥

Haha. If got time, I definitely will! :)
javviejavvie on December 27th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say again, おめでとうございます!

This reminds me of this thread .
スターゲイザー: juntoshi; just wanna be next to youcuticlebeam on December 28th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
ありがとう ♥

interesting read! thanks for the link :)