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Xin Yee Tee
Live in the moment

Advice from Mayuko to the freshmen 

Write down your goals. Make it visible.
When you get lost, always remind yourself of your goals with that.

 

The best experience in Boston 

“I have learned how to accomplish my goal!”

 

Before the interview 

Xin: Mayuko is a very special connection for me in Boston. We used to go running around Jamaica Pond almost every morning at 6. We have gone through many difficulties together and she is one of the persons that I admire.

Since I have known her so well, I am very looking forward to seeing if I will discover another side of her that I did not know, through this interview.

 

Opening 

Xin: Thank you for sharing your time with me today! Today, I am going to ask you to share your Boston life with us. Before that, can you tell me what have you been doing after you came back from Boston?

Mayuko: Sure! I have been studying for TOEIC again. And sometimes I watch English news, like BBC news, ABC News, and NHK world.

Xin: What else have you been doing other than English study? Like a part-time job?

Mayuko: I did not start any part time job so far, but I am going to join an English volunteer program. In that program, we support children in an English class.

Xin: Can you tell us more about the volunteering?

Mayuko: It is an English activity class and I will be the interpreter in English and Japanese.

Xin: That sounds interesting! How often will you be joining the volunteering?

Mayuko: It is a 3-day program.

Xin: Oh! So it is a short-term volunteering.

Mayuko: Yes.

Xin: Where did you find this volunteering? Is it a volunteering program in Showa?

Mayuko: No. It is not. I found it on the internet.

Xin: What encouraged you to research for the volunteering programs?

Mayuko: I want to practice my English skills! Because since I came back to Japan, I am forgetting how to speak English. I am trying to improve my skills.

 

Mayuko’s Boston Life 

Xin: Let’s talk about your Boston life. How would you describe your life in Boston?

Mayuko: It was so nice for me. I had a lot of memories in Boston, such as running, volunteering and language school.

Xin: I have a yes/no question for you: Do you think studying in Boston is important to you?

Mayuko: Yes!

Xin: Why do you say that?

Mayuko: In Boston, we spent time with our friends. As you know, we all stayed in the dorm, it was a rare experience to stay with all of the students for half a year. Everyone had their own problems and sometimes we would feel depression for many reasons. And we have to learn how to support each other under that kind of situation. For half a year, we live together, eat together, hang out together, do anything you can imagine together.

Last week in a leadership class, Professor Imai told us that, through living together with each other, we will feel mentally closer to each other. That was what I feel in Boston.

Xin: That is true. I think it was a special experience.

§ What would make your Boston life better §

Xin: What would make your Boston life better?

Mayuko: I think I learned how to accomplish my goal. Both of us ran together around Jamaica Pond…

Xin: Yeah! Almost every day.

Mayuko: Our goal, in the beginning, was to run 100 days. And it was hard since we had to get up early in the morning, at 5.

Xin: Yeah!

Mayuko: But we did not give up. So it was a wonderful memory.

Xin: I agree with that. That was not easy.

What else do you think made your Boston life better?

Mayuko: I think I learned to accept different ways of thinking. It widened my view. Because in America, there are many types of people. When I went to New York, I was so surprised. There were different people staying in the hotel. I learned how big America is.

Also, in my class in language school, the students came from 7 countries. So, I realized there are many ways of living, lifestyles and culture differences. I started to feel and accept different cultures and learned more about them.

 

Language School Experience 

Xin: Do you think the language school program was important for your Boston life?

Mayuko: Yes! Definitely. (she went to Stratford House)

Xin: I wonder what was the difference between language school and Showa Boston?

Mayuko: There are many kinds of people who came from different countries in language school. I got to learn cultures, different ways of thinking from there. And I have to speak in English in language school.

Xin: Did you have the experience that when you are trying to explain something in English to someone, but they do not understand you?

Mayuko: (NOD)

Xin: How was the experience. What did you feel?

Mayuko: My brain was blank and since I felt nervous, it made the situation worse. At the end, I failed to tell people what I was trying to say and I felt so depressed. It was a total tragedy.

Xin: Did you ever pretend that you understand someone but actually you did not?

Mayuko: Sometimes. (Laugh)

Xin: I did that a lot when I am communicating with people in Japanese.

Mayuko: Really?

Xin: Yes!

 

Advice to Freshmen who are going to Boston soon 

Xin: The last but most important question: what is your advice to students who are going to Boston soon?

Mayuko: I think it is very important for them to think about what they want to do, how they want to spend their time, and what their goals are.

Maybe everyone will get lost and forget their goals sometimes. So, it is important to make their goals clear and visible. When they were lost, they can always go back to the memo and remind themselves of their goals.

Xin: So you recommend them to write down in a memo what their goals are?

Mayuko: Yes, it is important to write them down.

Xin: What was your most important goal in Boston?

Mayuko: Hmm… be more positive.

Xin: That was your goal? Be more positive?

Mayuko: Hmm…actually no. I think my goal was to improve my English skills. (Laugh)

Xin: Did you have a more specific standard on this goal?

Mayuko: My goal was to be able to have conversations in English.

Xin: So I think you have achieved it!

Mayuko: Do you think so?

Xin: Of course! And we are having an interview in English now!

Mayuko: Yeah!

Xin: Thank you for today! I have learned a lot from you and wish you all the best for your study!

Mayuko: Thank you!

 

After the interview 

Xin: I have done a total of 6 interviews this time and for each of them I asked similar questions. Especially their advice for students. I have heard different advice and I agree with all of them. But I think Mayuko’s advice is especially essential.

Living abroad is never easy for everyone. All of us will experience depression and sometimes we will get lost. It is fine to get lost once in a while, but we have to always remember how to bring ourselves back on track. And Mayuko reminded us of a simple solution: write it down.

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