Anyway, sorry about suddenly rambling on about how I got to this point, but I've forgotten what my intention was for explaining all that...Ah, right--what I was trying to get at is that, when I graduated, I never expected to transfer or learn Japanese in the near future, let alone study abroad; it just wasn't in my personality, and I fully expected to just graduate from NMU in 4 years (which actually would've happened--I had all my classes and schedule figured out) with an English major, and then probably work at some mediocre job while I tried to publish my books or something (yes, I've actually written about 3, each one between 130-160 pages typed single spaced). I mean, sure, for a while the thought was in the back of my head that I wanted to study languages and travel and all that, but I had just settled with the fact that I'd probably just stay at NMU (it was less bothersome, too, to just stay there, instead of dealing with transferring and stuff; somehow, I'm an odd mix of extreme motivation, stubbornness, determination, and a bit of a perfectionist, with a bit of a lazy side. I think a good way to say it is that if I'm really passionate and determined about something, I'll make it happen, get to understand it, etc.--I'm even irritated that I'm getting A's in 2 classes but a B in my other class; to me, a B is not acceptable, except for in math--but if I find it too bothersome and tiresome, then I either won't do it, or if I have to, I'll take a while getting it done and probably grumble to my friends and family about it along the way--or something like that). And then suddenly my passion for Japanese and other languages and all that grew, to the point that the longing and need to pursue this became so much that I finally just had to make it happen. So here I am.
OK, so finally, my point is, is that this is really like a dream come true--not to sound corny or anything. Really, though, this is something that I'd only considered and hoped for, a thought in the back of my head, a slight wistful thought, which then, in the space of a year, solidified into a real dream, that grew stronger and stronger until I could no longer settle for being an English major, it became something I absolutely had to pursue, something that if I didn't do it, I'd probably live my life full of regrets. And honestly, aside from reading/writing and learning languages, I have no other obsessions--er, passions. Fine, yes, when I become passionate about something, it's basically more like I'm obsessed with it--like these bands that I like, or before when I watched all those Asian dramas and anime (still do sometimes; don't judge, they're entertaining, and more importantly, a distraction from everything--that is, they keep me sane while I'm here at college, and keep my spirits up. And yes, I blame a certain cousin for getting me hooked on some anime when I was younger, which then through a series of events turned into this, well, obsession). So, even though I've moved into a state of disbelief rather than extreme excitement--which will come soon enough, I'm sure--I still can't quite put into words just how incredibly happy I am. To be honest, once I study abroad and later graduate from MSU, it feels like my life will be halfway over, just because my only other goal after graduating is to live and work in Japan, at least for a while, and then maybe move on to other countries and languages. Probably China first, since Chinese is my minor, and I'm considering making it into a major instead--my perfectionist side will kill me, I think, in that I just can't stand the thought of leaving this halfway finished, as in not learning all I can in Chinese. Anyway, getting away from all these tangents and rambling, the whole point I've been trying to make is that I'm so incredibly happy and excited and I can't believe that it's finally happening. This is truly something I only considered, and then dreamed of, and for a while didn't think was going to happen anytime soon, and then suddenly I took Chinese and decided to transfer here and now I'm officially going to Japan next year, for an entire academic year!
Now, about what I have to do for JCMU now. Within about two weeks, I need to fill out a bunch of stuff online, basically things like emergency contact info, apartment and homestay info, flight info...About the flight info, though, I don't know yet what the recommended flight is, and I've never done anything like this before, so I'm not sure how to go about getting the right kind of ticket and what it's like actually boarding the plane--I've only been on 3 separate, small planes, on our senior trip to Disney World, and like I said, they were small, and definitely not international...So I'm going to be asking a lot about that. I also need to know what size bag I should get, because if possible, I'd like to have only one bag and then the carry-on, because I think probably most or all of the smaller necessities (shampoo, etc) can be bought when I get to Japan. Anyway, there are also some forms we have to print and have filled out, like this form from your physician and requesting a bank statement, and getting 4 passport photos, amongst other things. Then, of course, you have the usual things you need to sign either electronically or hand in, and so on and so forth. Probably very typical stuff for studying abroad, but again, it's my first time and it says it needs to be done within 2 weeks, and my home is about 6 hours away, so...Well, and I do worry about every little thing, but I'm used to living in a constant state of worry, so it's nothing new--just a different degree of worry, is all. Anyway, otherwise, they say because I'm actually at MSU and not from a consortium university or anything, everything from here on should go smoothly, and I'm definitely going to be taking them up on their offer when they say I can always come back to ask questions...I wonder if I should email beforehand, if I end up having too many questions...Oh, right, there will also be an orientation in May (May 11, to be exact), but they said we could work something out if I'm for some reason unable to attend. Well, just because it's about a week and a half after I'm done with classes and exams, so...I think I'll be able to work something out so I can make it, though.
Well, I think that about covers it. Sorry this post is a bit long, but I think it was necessary, just so I could get out all my thoughts and then explain a bit of what's happening from here on out. I feel like there was one more topic I wanted to touch on, but either I already did or I forgot it, so I guess I'll end this here. That, and I need to finish up a reading within the next 2 hours (which isn't a problem, but I can't wait any longer than this) for a class later today.
Oh! Just that, I mailed in my application for the other big scholarship (the Bridging Scholarship; I already turned in the application for the other big one, the Gilman Scholarship, a few weeks ago, since that's when the deadline was). Unfortunately, I won't be hearing back from them or any others I'll be applying for soon, until over the summer. Which reminds me, I need to talk to the financial aid people again, because 1) I'm not good with all this stuff and 2) I need to make sure I'll have everything covered, since studying in Japan IS a bit more expensive even than the tuition for MSU--that is, MSU tuition is around $25,000 and to study in Japan through JCMU is about $30,000.
Well, I think that's finally it, for now. Waaaa...I'm going to Japan...