Class of 2020, a round of applause! You have fought a good fight. Your time at TCU has come to an end but the journey at TCU begins now as it is time to live the practical side that you have learned. The world awaits to share your experiences gained in the last four years, brace yourselves and Stand in the GAP. As the school’s motto has been `stand in the gap` time has come for each of you to be a bridge and light in the different societies and workplaces that you will be in. This year will be a memorable one as the year of the deadly Coronavirus and nothing can make a better background story to how you worked hard and succeeded given the circumstances. As you go forward and share your stories, please highlight your experiences of the 2020 journey against “Corona.”
“It haunts me”
My TCU life has been a roller coaster of emotions and thankfully I came in with an open mind and a lot of positivity and just took one step at a time. The first word I learnt was “kutsu“ because when I went to public places and people`s homes, I forgot to take off my shoes at times and everyone would be looking at my shoes or trying gently to help me by pointing and translating.
P.S I love how conveniently close Family Mart is to TCU because we got to be spoiled by Sensei`s.
“This was the longest academic year I have ever done. Everything felt so stretched out – including me. I felt stretched thin and exhausted.”
Advice from the man!
There’s not really a specific message I want to get across, “expect nothing and try to appreciate everything.” When I first came to TCU 4 years ago, I made the mistake of expecting TCU to not be in the middle of nowhere… I’m not sure why I thought Tokyo Christian University would be somewhat near Tokyo, but hey, what are ya gonna do. Anyway… Were there times I thought about quitting? Yes. I tried to quit but everyone convinced me it was a bad idea and that I should stay put and not try to transfer to ICU, so I gave up and stuck it out for 4 whole years! I don’t remember the question. The point is, no matter who you are or where you are in life, do not give up until you are where you need to be – or where you want to be.
Honestly, I feel very relieved because the load that I have been carrying for almost a year has been lifted. Many months of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety is finally over. I also felt unmotivated to focus on current classes because my mind just shuts off and just focused on life outside of school. I’m just happy that I didn’t give up and made it through.
It was difficult, we couldn’t access the library physically. I was stuck in my room due to social distancing. I decided to change the focus of the research two months before the final deadline. The focus of research in my thesis was completely different from what I had planned a year ago, but it all worked out.
The key is to get kicked out
Funny story behind this thesis is that some students including me were kicked out by Short Sensei from his class because of a failed quiz. He asked us to leave the class for the entire first period to read the materials that had been assigned and come back the next period as passive participants (we are not allowed to participate as part of punishment). It’s funny because it was in this class that I got A+ for the first time in Dr. Short’s class. In that class, I wrote about Proverbs 8:22-31. My graduation thesis is about the dichotomy of the literal and spiritual meaning from the same scripture. So, the underlying reason why I got the thesis award is because Short Sensei kicked me out of his class.
I felt so free after my thesis submission. I felt like I “had” already graduated after that. It was so intense especially for the past few months but so thankful that I was able to finish it in time. I thought if I caught “corona” I would not be able to finish my thesis, but God was faithful, and I was safe~ Praise God!
Class of 2020 you came, you saw, you left a mark and you conquered. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. All good things come to an end and as you exit the fish pond into the Ocean- be true, stand guard to the “fish” you have become. Sharks, Nemo, and friends have nothing against you. When the going gets tough please remember:
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” ~ God