To start, a really good song to understand my current situation is Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”
Okay! Welcome! As you might have guessed, today’s blog will be about all of the things you can do INSIDE while corona runs rampant in your city.
First! You can drastically change your sleep schedule. My take on this is that when you can turn off all of your alarms and just sleep until you naturally wake up, DO IT! The only downside is that if you stay up late one night you will wake up at 5pm — but hey! cheers to 15 hours of sleep 🙂
Second! You can set health goals and ACTUALLY achieve them! For example, I am learning to do the splits within the month, and learning how to dance (not tiktok, no disrespect but I can’t look at another tiktok dance again), and learning more Japanese and French 😀 CAN YOU TELL I’M BORED???
Fun fact! When I started this post I was in Japan, living my best life with some of my best friends avoiding the impending doom (reality) that is Corona. That very evening, all of our bubbles were popped very quickly and without remorse (I understand the rationale I am just stating this for dramatic flair, I appreciate everyone who has helped and supported me throughout this — shoutout IPO). Long story short I packed up and left Japan two days after I thought I convinced my dad to stay, but alas, I had to depart.
To quickly describe why it hurt so much: I have learned that a semester abroad is a lot like a vacation. You learn a lot, but at the end of the day you’re still trying to absorb information as quickly as you can, still holding a veil over most of the “bad” because you’re so entranced by the “good.” With a year abroad, the sense of urgency isn’t there. The exchange is a walk rather than a run, you’re more willing to stop and smell these flowers because you know you’ll get to the next flower patch in two weeks time.
Your relationships are deeper and more solidified because when you’re staying in a dorm like I was, these people become who you see everyday. Who you cry more with, who you have more inside jokes, you stay up all night to watch the sunrise more with these people that are now your family. All of this was heightened because of Corona. All in-bound exchanges were canceled to AGU so it was just the same people in the dorms — kind of bad it you want to meet new people all the time, but I was okay with it because I was able to strengthen my relationships. Acquaintances were now people that you cooked with every day, laughed with, went to onsens together to become the “naked buddies” (they are the best group of girls I could be around haha). I guess, in a way, it became a mixed-gender Greek house? I don’t usually support Greek life, but if it’s like this then I get why people do it.
I’m hurting because the day I found out I had to go home was the best day of the semester. I was with all of my friends saying goodbye to “season 1,” and celebrating the coming adventures of “season 2.” It was like a bucket of water over my head. I was going home after four of my friends, and then myself, and then two other would follow, and at the time of me writing this, Tokyo has an impending lock-down and everyone might be going home immediately. My family says “I got out before the worst of it” and I agree with them. But just because I agree doesn’t mean that my chest doesn’t ache.
The hardest part is talking to everyone and not wanting to lie when they ask “are you happy to be home.” I know I may be entitled and sound like I don’t understand the severity of the situation, but I think it’s okay to understand the truth of the situation and still hurt.
So as I am no longer in Japan this will be my last blog. I’m sorry I’m not a ray of sunshine in every post like Korea, but I’d like to think I’ve become a bit more observant. That being said, it was lovely to write for you, I am extremely privileged to do what I have done and I hope you enjoy your experiences traveling.
Sometimes I think I lost out on a lot of Linfield connections and missed out of the “power of a small college” experience, but if that’s what’s holding you back from seeing the world then, know that Linfield is a forever kind of thing, the friends you make there are a forever kind of thing, and it would be unfortunate if you didn’t want to go make some forever kind of friends internationally. You’ll help make Linfield and yourself better that way. Grow the understanding of our community. And Linfield is so unique in the opportunities it provides. Go travel by yourself, feel alone, and then feel the creation of community. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.
My one last bit of advice is to just go experience things. Waiting for the “right” experience isn’t going to help because you’re going to miss every other crazy thing with your tunnel vision.
Oh, and SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL SOLVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS DON’T BE INCONSIDERATE!
Over and out,
p.s. seek discomfort 🙂