HomeHigher EducationStudy AbroadThe End or Beginning? - Off-Campus Study

The End or Beginning? – Off-Campus Study

I am moving into my last month of being here, and my program technically ends next week (although I will be here a bit longer). I can’t really fathom the fact that it has been a year since I came here. The best way I can describe it, being here has been like I was transported to another dimension version of myself that happens to be living in Japan. Abby in Japan seems like a separate person from Abby in the USA.

Obviously Abby in Japan is simply a continuation–an addition–to who Abby in the USA was. I can tell that I have changed in ways that I probably don’t know, and probably will continue to not know until I discover them as I move into the future to create more newer parts of myself.

Reflecting back on my experience, it was a lot different than I imagined it. I didn’t necessarily come with a bunch of expectations or anything, but I think I am experiencing what we all experience after achieving something. I feel like I had almost seen coming to Japan as a giant finale. It was like this big unachievable thing in my mind since I was a young kid, and to me, achieving that big unachievable thing was my happily ever after. I didn’t even consider that life continues on after this goal. I especially didn’t expect my response to the end of achieving this goal.

Until month 10 (last month), I had extreme anxiety about going back to the USA. While everyone had been experiencing culture shock and homesickness their first 6 months here, I had felt no longing to go home. Maybe it was the fact I hadn’t imagined anything past my experience. Maybe it was just that the food was good and the train system provided a type of freedom I didn’t know in the US. However, last month, and especially now, I feel differently.

I feel really ready for the next chapter of my life. It isn’t necessarily that I prefer the US over Japan or Japan over the US. However, I know that for the time being, since I’m not planning to work here this next year, this is not the place where I can forge a path for myself. I don’t feel I can grow here anymore in the way I need to right now. Going abroad, especially for a long time, really makes you reflect on your values, and I think it was extremely necessary that I came here. I think it is also extremely necessary that my next step not be here.

Who knows maybe I’ll find myself back here in a couple of years, or maybe in a completely different country. I can’t really say where I’ll end up making a permanent space for myself, or if I ever will. Life is full of possibilities. My experience here was definitely a foundation for leaping into adulthood. I thought it was the finale this whole time, but I think it’s really the beginning of something.

If you followed my blog this year, thank you. I wasn’t that consistent, but I appreciate you taking the time to read about my experience. I hope it was beneficial to you in some way. I enjoyed writing it 🙂

The End… or rather,

The Beginning

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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