Coming Out of My Shell

“I was very reclusive in my first year in Japan. I didn’t have many friends and didn’t go out much. I only focused on studying. I also kept coming up with reasons not to interact with people so I could stay in my personal space. I remember thinking it was OK because people have different lifestyles and I’m an introvert. Sometimes I would feel sad and lonely, but it’s not like depression, so I thought it was totally fine. I just wanted to mind my own business and not hang out with anyone. But then I started to feel the impact during my sophomore year. It hit me hard–I’d cry alone in my apartment and I couldn’t explain why. Maybe everything was piling up. I spent a lot of time on social media, seeing my friends doing things, being happy and successful. It seemed like they had good lives and had it together. I saw some of my decisions in high school flash back to me and I felt regret for some of those choices. At this point, I knew I had to do something about my life. I reconnected with friends from high school and started talking to people at my university. Then I found an extra-curricular club activity which changed my life. It really helped me get my act together and break free from that dark period. Now I’m more talkative, more comfortable sharing my opinions and ideas with others. If you’re like me, I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone because in the long run, it will take a toll on your health. I can say becoming part of my school club activity, MUN (Model United Nations), was the best decision I ever made.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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