Graduating in Spring (2022)

Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Theo F.
Translator: Theo F.

With the winter cold slowly escaping, the advent of spring was welcomed as TIU hosted its graduation ceremony for spring graduates on the 12th of March. Equipped with suits or traditional Japanese clothing, graduates wore pleasant expressions on their faces as they attended the ceremony. In order to record such a fascinating event, I decided to write an article about it.

Although I was not able to attend the ceremony itself, I was able to interview four distinguished graduates: Kotoko and Mika, former CG interns, Kazuki, an ESS junior who was able to graduate early with his extraordinary grades, and Saki, the representative of all graduates.


Pictured left: Kotoko; pictured right: Mika

Former CG J-Track Senior: Kotoko

Thoughts on the ceremony:

“I joined the ceremony remotely through a classroom. It was great that we had some great speeches from the principal. I was surprised as it was revealed that former Japanese president Abe Shinzo sent us a congratulatory letter, but it was overall an amazing ceremony. One of the graduate representatives was my acquaintance, so I was really proud of them.”

Memorable parts of university life:

“I have a lot, but the most outstanding one definitely has to be the 4 months I spent in Australia for language studies. Through the language school, I was able to practice culture exchange with different people, which helped me realize my problems. It was a great experience.”

Working as a student intern:

I joined Campus Globalization for a year right after COVID-19 started spreading. At first, since I was the only Japanese member I felt a bit discouraged, but thanks to the support from other members, I was able to enjoy myself as I fulfilled my duties as an intern.

Regrets from university life:

“That is a bit embarrassing to talk about here so I’ll just say that I don’t have any in particular. But yeah, I feel like you don’t really have things that you MUST do during your university life, since for most things you can still do them after you graduate.”

Plans after graduation

“I’ll probably travel somewhere.”

Former CG E-Track Senior: Mika

Thoughts on the ceremony:

“I was late for the ceremony, so I was not able to go to the Grand Auditorium but I was able to watch it in room 112. It was a special experience graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Memorable parts of university life:

“The most memorable moment of my student life was during my stay at TEDxTIU where I met a lot of talented and hard-working people. I was able to interact with people and work together towards a common goal – hosting the first two TEDx events here at TIU.”

Club activities and internships:

“I was part of Peer Assistants where we assisted a lot of international students. I was also part of Campus Globalization where we worked towards making the university more global. I also did an internship at a recruitment firm.”

Regrets:

“I regret doing job-hunting a bit late, only during the last semester of my 4th year. I suggest working on job-hunting as early as during your third year second semester.”

Advice for juniors:

“In order to enjoy university life, join a lot of things but don’t work too hard, be smart about your choices.”

Former ESS President J-Track Junior: Kazuki

Thoughts on the ceremony:

“It was refreshing.”

Memorable parts of university life:

“I was part of ESS. I was invited by a friend to join and it was a place where I could have conversations with international students. For me, having been able to hang out with people I met through ESS definitely gave me a fulfilling student life.

I was also a student staff member during open campus sessions. Through this internship, I was able to meet a lot of new people and even grab food with them on day offs. I was also able to let prospective students know the charm of TIU as I was also really glad that I came to TIU.”

Regrets:

“I wish I had more fun.”

Something you didn’t regret:

“I had a clear goal throughout my student life.”

Advice for juniors:

“As an undergraduate you are in control of most parts of your life, whether or not you get to live a fulfilling student life is up to you.”

Former Wind Orchestra President J-Track Senior (Graduates’ Representative): Saki

Balancing academics and extracurricular activities:

“I had sorted my life between academics, club activities, and part-time work. I chose to prioritize academics, but whenever I had a concert I would prioritize practicing at the orchestra. As for part-time work, I only did it during my free time.”

Something you found difficult:

“I was the president of the TIU’s wind orchestra. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to have as many members as we needed. Additionally, it was really difficult to search for ways to improve the quality of our sound as concert dates approached. When my upperclassmen graduated, they did not really give us any clear directions to manage the orchestra, so it was really difficult for us. However, it was a fantastic experience being able to meet new people through this position.”

Something you regret and something you didn’t:

“I immersed myself in academics, club activities, and part-time jobs, so I wasn’t really able to have as much fun as other students probably have had. During my exchange study in the US, I also prioritized volunteer activities over having fun. However, thanks to that my horizons were broadened and I grew a lot as a person.”

Advice for juniors:

“The four years you spend in university pass quicker than you would imagine. To regret doing something is always better than to regret not doing it. Whenever you feel like you want to try something out, don’t be afraid and make that first step forward!”

Once again, congratulations and a great thank you to the four graduates who allowed us to feature them in this article. I hope this article gave you some new insight for your student life. I’m sure that other than the four graduates featured in this article, there must be other graduates with interesting experiences to share. If you have the chance, try using their advice to change your student life by making it a more fulfilling experience!

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