Becoming a Freshman in a Japan University

Freshman year in a University in Japan

Well, to think that I've survived a year and may successfully enter adulthood this year is just absurd. Speaking of that the seniors have all graduated and in come the new students. To be honest, I still feel strange about this situation. It's like people suddenly think that I'm capable of being an adult after one year and shoved a bunch of babies in my way, expecting me to be responsible for them. And to that I say, " I AM NOT READY FOR THESE KINDS OF RESPONSIBILITIES ". 

I'm not sure about what is the case with universities from other countries, heck I don't even know how things in Malaysia are too. But I can tell you that being in Japan and experiencing all this is just weird. There are times when I take this like a foreigner and there are times when I'm like how can you treat me like this, I'm your senior. SOOOooo.... to sum it off it's just weird and causing me to lose control.

Photo taken in Toyo University Kawagoe Campus's cafeteria
I'm not studying in this university so don't ask me anything about this university.  :)

Your age really doesn't matter

In Japan, there are some students who stayed back a year after graduating from high school because they couldn't get into the university they wanted to. So in this year, while each one of their friends are in university, out in the society with a job, they on the other hand are going to tuition and trying their best for next year's entrance exams. Now, usually when they pass the test and got into the university they wanted, they would already be 19/20, while the students around them would be 18/19. Nevertheless, people won't really think of you as a senior but as some one who is like the same as their own. They won't boycott you just because you're older than them which is a good thing. So it's pretty much the same as you are going into a university after graduating excluding the fact that you stayed behind for one year and is a year older than most of the people around you. There are times when people take 2 o 3 years too. 

They take formalities to the next level

So I've written about this senior and junior (senpai and kohai) relationship before. But back then,  it was me being a kohai (junior). Now, after taking a step into being a freshman, you are both senpai and kohai. Even now, there are times when I know that I'm not using the correct form when I'm talking to my seniors but I can't help it, and they know plus are still very understanding of it. Now having Japanese Kohai, it's like you can't help but notice they use the words, desu and masu, at the end of their sentences. Which is like.... just weird. For Malaysians, we don't really play the seniority card quite that often but here it's like you have to or not you're just being plain rude. SO yeah still can't quite get used to it, but I'm pretty sure, I'll get used to it soon. 

The talk

Now, in my university, it's still a new year, everyone is kinda welcoming the new students and helping them out with their stuff. And from this I noticed that, the new students are usually looking out for the seniors of the same department. Also, on this note, we the seniors are also trying to provide them with the senior from the same department. This is because in Japan, the sophomores can usually get free textbooks, advice on which classes to take and not to, past years test questions and many more. This is a really great culture for me, since I've benefit from this last year. But, this year, I found out that I've been giving out advice to all of the sophomores that I've met, on whether which class they should take, whether or not they should join this club and so on.... And my only conclusion is that I'm becoming an old person.


One of the benefits of being a sophomores in a university in Japan is all the free meals you get from your seniors. During April, there will be a lot of clubs advertising their own specialties and after the tour about the activities, they will treat you to free food. And back when I was a sophomore, I was static about this, I mean like you know FREE FOOD!! But then, everything changed when the freshman year attacked, only the wallet of those sophomores were spared, every other wallets of the seniors are empty from all of the treating. 

So yeah... to sum it up, getting older sucks Also, I'm writing this with a cold and a sore throat and a might be fever so yeah. Bye :) 

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About Thomas Tham

Just a student studying in a University in Japan. Nothing more, nothing less.
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