Short update- 9 days before the adventure beginns

It has been a long time since my last post (again) and although I can’t realize it right now: It’s only 9 days till my departure to Japan!! I still have very much to do like packing my suitcases and bringing the rest of my stuff to my parents’ house, but the fact that there is only around a week left for me in Germany almost kills me. I want to spend as much time with my family, friends and boyfriend as possible, but at the same time have to prepare for my year abroad… I’m really looking forward to it, but as the day of departure comes nearer, I’m getting more and more sad to leave everyone behind in Germany. Maybe that’s a feeling that everybody who went abroad for a long time knows.  But for me it’s a new feeling that I haven’t known until now and I just can’t get used to it (actually I had to see a doctor because I couldn’t eat anymore and it would even make me throw up, but I’m fine now).

So the last 2 months were very challenging for me, but I somehow managed to do everything I wanted to do. The best thing was that I finally got my Visa last week which almost made me cry. I just kept staring at it and repeating “I’m going to Japan!” in my head.

I also booked a hotel for the first 5 nights in Shinagawa Tokyo, because I can’t check in at my dormitory until September 5th. Luckily my former colleague, Mai, will show me around Tokyo at the beginning (thanks Mai!), so I really don’t have anything to be afraid of in the first days. We already made a short plan of what we want to do, but not in detail. I just hope jet leg will not make me too exhausted.

However, this is just going to be a short update about what I’m doing right now. I’m thinking about posting one more time before going to Japan, but if not: See you in Japan!

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Procrastination and lack of motivation (75 days before the adventure starts)

Aaaaaand here I’m again, three months later. There’s so much going on right now and I wish I could just skip time until at least the end of July.

Last post I wrote about my preparations for the JLPT N2. That time I still was full of motivation and ready to begin to study for the test until my Japanese is good enough to actually pass it. But then there came the summer semester and with it the one thing that is every student’s constant companion: procrastination. And that is exactly what I’m going to write about in the first part of this post.

The reasons why I´m writing about this topic are (1) because maybe if I write about it and actually think about possible ways to overcome it, I’ll finally be able to do all the things I planned for a day and (2) because I’m (ironically) procrastinating some work right now and figured it would be a good idea to post something on my blog (which I also procrastinated for a long time).

Okay, so having made that clear, let’s start.

Basically there are two types of procrastinating and everyone knows them: (1) procrastinating something you don’t want to do doing another thing you also don’t want to do, but you like it better anyways (e.g. procrastinating homework cleaning your room) and (2) procrastinating something you don’t want to do doing fun activities (e.g. meeting friends, watching a movie,….)

I feel like people tend to procrastinate things especially if there is a deadline. That’s interesting because even if it is the same thing, the fact that there is a deadline stresses people out and the activity isn´t as attractive as before. For example, when I was in high school I learned Japanese as a hobby and learned it almost every day for two years until I was able to pass the JLPT N4 with a very good grade. But since I’m in university learning Japanese isn’t just a hobby anymore, and -surprise, surprise- I began to procrastinate homework and learning sessions.

In other words, back than learning Japanese was an excuse for me to procrastinate school stuff, but now it has become something I need an excuse for to procrastinate. And these excuses are fun activities. So I feel like I’m not improving myself at all lately. That’s not only true for learning Japanese, but also for other university stuff (I still have to write one 10 page long seminar paper and haven’t started yet), preparations for my year abroad and even little things like replying to persons or cleaning my room.

I just got tired of my life here in Germany. Don’t get me wrong, I still have much fun here, I’m always enjoying the time with my friends and family, but I need something to change, something new in my life. Two years of doing more or less the same things at the same place is enough. I really need something to change. And that is going to happen in 75 days. Maybe that is exactly why I’m procrastinating so much lately. I think my mind is already in Japan and that makes me unable to focus on the things that are left to do in Germany.

But I have to figure out a way to overcome this lack of motivation and enjoy the rest of the two months left in Germany at the same time. Starting next week I’ll try to do a To do list every morning and reflect what I have done in a day at the same evening. I’ll try that for a week and then I’ll see if it works out for me or not.

In other news, I finally received the official acceptance letter from Keio University and will apply for a student dormitory (I’m not going to say which one yet, that’s for another post) on Monday. We have a plenty of time to do so, but I’m going to apply as early as the portal opens, because the earlier you apply, the highest is the chance to get a room in your favorite dorm. The only problem is that the portal opens at 10 am in Japan, which would be 3 pm in Germany. So I have to set my alarm at 2:50 tomorrow before sleeping. A bit annoying, but if it’s worth it….. I won’t know until the mid of July which dorm I’ll stay in, but that’s just one month waiting so it’s okay.

I hope next time I have something more exciting to talk about 🙂

 

Applying for Keio University and preparing for JLPT N2

Already three months passed since my last entry! Time flies by very fast, which means that my adventure is not that far away anymore 🙂 Actually it’s just 162 days until it begins.

In this post I’m going to write about the preparations I have to do to apply for Keio University and my preparations for the JLPT N2.

My preparations so far

About 2 months ago I went to my teacher, who gave me a list about what I have to do in the next two months. Basically it’s just a bunch of documents I have to get or fill in. I’m really happy about how organized and well-structured the instructions are. From my friends who are applying for different universities in Japan I heard, that their universities don’t provide them with as much information as Keio does. Anyway, the application is a procedure that takes much time, so I recommend to begin with the preparations as early as possible. Tomorrow, I’ll get the last document and upload all documents to the Keio application website. I just hope everything will meet Keio’s expectations.

JLPT N2

Parallel to my preparations and writing a 15 page long seminar paper for university (which I’ll hopefully finish tomorrow) ,  I’m trying to prepare for the JLPT N2, which I’ll take this July. But being too busy in the last months I didn’t have that much time to learn yet.  For those of you who don’t now, the JLPT is short for Japanese Language Proficiency Test (nihongo nôryoku shiken) and is a test for people who learn Japanese and want/have to test their proficiency (obviously) for either work, school or themselves.  N5 is the easiest one, whereas N1 is the most difficult one. Before entering university I already did the N5 (2014) and the N4 (2015) and because I think I’d pass N3 without learning, I decided to challenge the N2. To prepare, I brought three books from the Shinkanzen masutâ (新完全マスター) series, which I absolutely love and really recommend to all of you who want to do the JLPT. Timage1here are five different books for the N2 series: bunpou (grammar), goi (vocabulary), dokkai (reading comprehension), Kanji and choukai (listening comprehension). However, I didn’t brought kanji and choukai, because (1) I brought Kanji flashcards for N2 Kanji and (2) I use Japanese almost every day (speaking with friends, at work, watching drama, Japanese TV-shows, Youtube,…..), so I don’t need to practice my listening skills as much as my grammar, vocabulary, reading and Kanji skills.

This was just a short update on what I’m doing right now to prepare myself for my exchange year. I hope the time will pass fast!

It´s christmas and I still have to wrap presents

These were my first thoughts when I woke up today. Then I decited to create a blog, still leaving my unwrapped presents as they are. I´m very good in procrastinating things I don´t want to do.

Anyway, maybe I should do a short self-introduction at first. My name is Lara, I´m currently 19 years old, studying “Modern Japan” in Germany and right now the happiest girl in the world. That´s not only because it´s christmas – something I dreamed of since I was 13 years old finally came true: I got the permission to study one year abroad in Japan! The last 3 months were very challenging for me, because I had to prepare a research project to apply for the exchange year. As I had no idea how to exactly do something like this, there was so much I had to do, but in the end, I managed it somehow. Last wednesday I finally got a mail, telling me that I got a permission to study at Keio University in Tokyo. I read the mail over and over again, because I thought it was a dream, but it wasn´t. I´m really going to Japan next year! There are still 9 months left before I´ll pack my suitcases and start the biggest adventure in my life so far, but there is still so much to do, like applying for a visa, looking for a dormitory, learning more Japanese, and so on, so I thought it was a good idea to create a blog and write about my preperations. 2017 is going to be a really busy year, since I also have to continue my university studies and my part time job, but I have something to look forward to, so that´s okay. 頑張りまーす!

So today is christmas. I´m staying at my parent´s house for one week. I moved out in September 2015 and because I´m always busy I don´t have much time to come here (although it´s only about 80 minutes with train), so I´m always very excited to meet everyone. We´re going to have a delicious dinner, which  I looked forward to about 3 months (I really love good food) and after that exchange presents an get cozy while watching some christmas movies. Today is going to be a good day 🙂

Now, I really have to wrap presents! (笑)

Merry christmas! ❤