Struggling to Adjust to Japan

Sorry everyone, there’s not a happy-go-lucky travel post this week. Just a post about my emotions. Lately I’ve been stuck in a slump. Back at UF, October was always the hardest month for me because it was the peak time for group projects, midterms, and essays. It is the same here at Kansai Gaidai University. I am currently drowning in all sorts of assignments and have barely had the time to breathe recently. However, it’s been harder to deal with because I don’t have the same support group here as I have back in Gainesville. Of course, I’ve made some good friends here in Japan, but the lingering knowledge that I am leaving in two months makes me want to push them away so I don’t get too attached. I’ve been spending a lot of my time walking around town to clear my head, admiring the scenery and taking pictures of random things that I stumble upon, such as the farm plot that I’ve posted above.

Additionally, I’m tired of feeling like an outsider here. Of course, I know that I am, and I will be returning to America soon, but I am so tired of getting stared at (in Japan it isn’t considered rude to stare at people, especially foreigners) everywhere I go. I’m already self-conscious about everything I do in public because I’m still adjusting to life in Japan, the added factor of passerby’s staring at me and kids pointing at me just makes things worse. I understand that being stared at isn’t necessarily mean-spirited, but it reinforces the fact that I am not from Japan and no matter how much I master the language or adjust to Japanese society, I will still be judged by my physical appearance and be deemed as an outsider. Overall, it’s just really discouraging and I am feeling defeated right now.

However, this week starts the beginning of our one break, Autumn Break! A fellow Gator and I are headed to Seoul, South Korea, and I am super excited. I’ll definitely be posting about my expeditions in Seoul because my friend and I have some pretty cool things planned for the week. I’m hoping that I can leave all these negative feelings behind and come back to Japan with a refreshed attitude as I finish up the semester.

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