See you again in the new year!

Sakura in Japan, by Phillip Cheung

It seems like everyone’s in Japan for study lately. I can’t say that I blame them, since it’s an amazing country to be in, but I will admit that it certainly is an experience to be jealous of, though I can only imagine the difficulties one faces away from everything they are familiar with.

Among those that have already left for Japan are Noel, Emong, Phillip, Ameh, Vadim, Rina, Kenny, Lucie, Dale, Wilson and Mary (Grass) either for an entire year or a whole semester, and Tac will be going in a matter of weeks as well. Among other friends who have left for other countries on exchange is Daisy, a long-time friend I’ve known since primary school, and who shares the same birth date as me down to the year.

I can only say that I regret not being able to go see some of these friends off, because of work or even just being uninformed. Despite all the farewell activities these last few weeks, this is really something that I regret, and I’m sorry.

Despite friends of my cohort disappearing overseas for most of 2013 and a couple of months of 2014 (Julie, Emily), for some reason it seems more real this year, possibly because so many people I know are disappearing this time — some that I’m only just getting to know and some that I’ve known for a long time.

It feels kind of strange for us left behind here, but I hope these friends will all have a blast overseas and experience things that they never expected they would. People all say that they grow and change over there, take risks and are more independent, and one day I intend to make this kind of pilgrimage overseas too. Even Ruben has studied overseas before for an extended time, when he studied here in Australia while living in Singapore. I really envy that.

In the past, I’ve been resentful of not being able to do a double degree with International Studies because my scholarship course didn’t allow it, but I’ve also missed opportunities and not taken action, so I only have myself to blame. I can’t just say that parents are holding me back, although that is part of the reason. Nonetheless, I will be looking forward to meeting these friends again in the new year, when perhaps — just perhaps — Ruben and I travel overseas to meet them as we have arranged and can revel in this wonderful Japanese culture, and possibly even others.

Have fun guys, and see you all again soon!

Photo by Phillip Cheung, from Twitter.