Student bloggers: Aki’s fall recap

Hello again! I am excited to begin the next semester after a well-deserved break. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend classes in-person this semester, in addition to the previous one.

As this is my first experience studying abroad for an extended period, I have encountered a plethora of new experiences and challenges. I find it hard to believe that a quarter of my semesters at Fletcher have already passed.

In this post, I will provide a recap of my previous semester, highlights from my winter break, and an overview of what I am looking forward to in the upcoming semester.

Recap of the First Fall 2022 Semester

Since the start of my studies at Fletcher, I have frequently heard the phrase that one of the most beneficial aspects of studying at Fletcher is the intersectionality of the various disciplines offered.

In reality, I have taken four different subjects that are closely related to one another: Microeconomics, Statistics, Corporate Finance, and International Law, specifically WTO law. Despite my prior majors in Political Science and Law, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about a diverse range of subjects at Fletcher.

In addition to taking classes, I have received valuable advice from professors and staff. For example, one professor advised me to “learn economics and statistics-related subjects deeply because you can learn what to think and how to think. Economics is just a tool, but it will provide you with a valuable perspective to understand the real world. Statistics will provide you with the skills to apply this perspective.” This has increased my interest in the field of economics and solidified my perspective on the subject. I am confident that my studies at Fletcher will provide me with the tools and confidence to make important decisions in the future.

On the other hand, I have identified areas that I need to improve upon in the upcoming semesters. One of them is relevance. As I have previously worked in the public sector, the Corporate Finance class was particularly challenging for me.

Winter Break

Aki at Quincy marketI have never experienced a winter break as long as the one I had this year. At first, I did not particularly enjoy the extended break as it was difficult to maintain the habits and routines that I had established during the semester. However, as the break progressed, I found that I had a lot of fun.

I visited the central area of Boston, which I had only had the opportunity to visit a few times during the Fall 2022 semester due to my classes. I appreciate the sophistication and culture of Boston.

Aki in Central ParkFurthermore, my friends and I traveled to New York City around New Year’s Day. One of my childhood dreams was to visit New York City, and I was finally able to realize it. We visited famous tourist destinations as well as some lesser-known local places. On New Year’s Eve, I was amazed by the number of people waiting to enter Times Square. I heard that some people waited for half a day, but I was still surprised to see it in person. On New Year’s Day, I watched the fireworks near Central Park. It was a truly memorable experience.

What I’m Looking Forward to in the following semesters

Having learned valuable lessons from my previous semester, I have carefully chosen my classes for the spring 2023 semester. Despite the numerous classes offered at Fletcher, it was a challenging yet rewarding decision to select which classes to focus on.

Furthermore, I am beginning to contemplate my future plans post-graduation as I only have three semesters remaining at Fletcher.

I anticipate that there will be an abundance of new ideas and perspectives emerging in the present and future. For instance, in spite of the existence of capitalism, various movements such as the SDGs and carbon neutrality are progressing. I am uncertain which movements will become global standards, but I am aware that there are many values and perspectives to consider.

In such a complex world, I am eager to discover examples of “good” communities. In today’s society, many individuals congregate in urban areas. However, with the use of internet-based skills, people have the potential to have ample opportunities and lead comfortable lives in rural areas. I hope to find areas that balance public and private interests.

Additionally, I am striving to adapt to global standards as I have previously only lived in Japan. This is my first time living abroad for an extended period, and I have realized that there are numerous perspectives around the world.

For example, expressing opinions is the norm here. I am expected to voice my thoughts even if I do not want to. In my past experiences, if I made a promise with someone, it was expected to be upheld. If it was not fulfilled, communication between us would gradually decrease. However, here in the US, it is common for people to not be held accountable for their words. I have had to learn to remind people of their promises.

Furthermore, communication has been a challenge for me. I have struggled to initiate conversations with new people and find common ground even in my native language. Despite this, I was able to lead a comfortable life. However, since coming to the US, people have perceived me as shy, even though I do not feel this way at least in some situations.

As a result of these difficulties, I have come to understand and embrace my identity as a Japanese individual. I am starting to believe in the potential of the entertainment business field, particularly in the global popularity of Japanese anime. Despite the fact that many people are not familiar with J-Pop music, they are familiar with Japanese anime, including recent series. However, in Japan, many people do not take pride in this anime culture. I see potential in this business area, as the combination of various cultures creates unique values  that Japanese individuals can take pride in.

My thoughts and perspectives are constantly evolving as I experience new things. I plan to continue to explore and try new things to discover my future. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to updating you in my next post.

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