A very good place to start~
I thought that I would start off this blog by telling my story of how and why I started learning Japanese. Similarly to most who begin studying Japanese, I was introduced to anime and manga from a rather young age. My older brother loved shows like Naruto and One Piece, and so, naturally, I started liking them too. However, unlike many people, my interest in anime and manga did not prove as a motivation for learning Japanese. To tell you the truth, I kind of just took Japanese because a.) My brother took Spanish and I wanted to be somewhat different from him, b.) The French teacher at my school was well known throughout our district for being, well…, and c.) Chinese just seemed way too difficult. I felt cool doing something different from all my friends and it was the only option that I felt comfortable with, so I ended up taking Japanese.
I think taking Japanese in high school made me realize how much a good teacher can make a difference to an unsure fourteen-year-old. My Japanese teacher in high school is not only a great teacher, but to me, she was my biggest role model (other than my brother). Soon enough, I fell in love with learning Japanese, but I never thought that I would continue studying Japanese in college.
By my Sophomore year of high school, I still believed that I would hold up to the “Indian standard” and devote the rest of my life to a field of science. Maybe something like Biotechnology. Taking Biology sure made me happy, but soon enough, I realized that I just liked learning random facts about animals, not really doing lab work. So, if I did not want to pursue a career in science, and I was horrible at math, what was left that was socially acceptable?
After my Junior year of high school, I went to Japan for the first time through the Japanese National Honor Society’s trip that they planned every 3 years. I did not expect much other than awesome food out of the experience, but meeting Japanese people and finally getting to use the language made me realize that I want to speak Japanese for the rest of my life. That is when I decided to major in Japanese, despite the many obstacles I would face. It was really tough finding courage when many people did not support me in my decision, but right now, I know it was the right one.