It was September. I had arrived at the airport and had to find my own way to my new dormitory. It was difficult to communicate fluently with others because my first language was so different from the language in this country. I was full of emotion, both good and bad. I was nervous and excited; scared and ecstatic; shy and adventurous.
Arriving at the dormitory, I didn’t know anybody else. The others were from many different countries. Some of them had already been here for years, and others had also just arrived like me. I was pretty tired from the trip, so the first thing I wanted to do was go to my room and take a shower. It had been quite a long flight after all…
I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t. There was just too much to see and experience! I knew that the best way to get off the right foot was to meet new people. But how do I approach them? What do I say? Doesn’t matter, just go say “Hi” and introduce myself. So that’s what I did. And because I forced myself to take that initiative, I met two other students from England and the Netherlands.
All three of us had just arrived that day. We talked about our thoughts of our new home, as well as where we came from. And what were we supposed to do on our first day in this new country? Of course, we decided to simply take a walk! We walked for a couple hours before we found a small bar where we decided to have a drink.
After returning to the dorm, I tried to sleep. The time difference between here and my home country was 16 hours. Or was it 17? I was too tired to remember, but not tired enough to sleep. I thought about the day I had just experienced. I had just traveled around the world and was now trying to sleep in a bed…that was in a room…that was in a building…in one of the largest cities in the world. A building full of strangers, soon to be friends, who all shared the same feeling as myself…a feeling of loneliness accompanied by unrivaled excitement.
I laid there thinking about my first day. It is a day that I’ll never forget. My first day that I was fully immersed in a foreign culture. My first day in Tokyo, Japan. My first day as an international student. A day that I’ll never forget.
Do you remember your first day?