The last days I spent in Japan were filled with fun, sadness and excitement. I’m generally a person that overthinks and worries about everything, so obviously this huge change did affect my mental state. I did manage to get everything sorted out, and I had amazing friends helping me out during that final stretch.
I wanted to take advantage of those last days – I went on little trips, visited onsen on my own (might have been the last chance if my tattoo ideas come into fruition) and hung out with my amazing pals. They took me out for the Oyster Festival (that unfortunately was also during a minor snow storm but it can’t all be perfect), sushi and the arcade. With their help I certainly didn’t worry as much as I thought I would.
I want to write a summary of those 5 months – they have been filled with so much joy, new experiences and self-exploration.
Majorly, when it comes to skills that will be helpful for my future career – I had to independently manage my individual projects, look for my own briefs and overall taught myself how to keep myself busy. The academic course in NIU not being related to art, I was anxious that I would end up not working at all – but I got the hang of time management and even observed some progress in my drawing skills.
Apart from that I was introduced to a range of different visual motifs that I would not be able to observe anywhere else in the world. Living in a country that values visuals, observing typography in a writing system I can not use – those were certainly very helpful experiences.
When it comes to aspects not related to my artistic career – I was able to better my language skills, learnt about many different topics I would never pick up by myself. I was listening to people I would never have met otherwise and tried to understand their background, and as pretentious as it sounds, it was a very valuable experience.
I learnt a lot about myself; how I act when there absolutely is no expectations put on how I should behave, what I do when I have a whole days just for myself, how I cope with living alone. This might not be relevant to my studies but certainly was a big stepping stone on my mental health and self improvement journey.