Sae OyaThird- year student in the International Studies Department, Faculty of International Studies
Ms. Oya decided to apply for Meiji Gakuin University after visiting an MGU open day while she was at high school. Since entering MGU, she has played an active part in fostering relationships among students and publicizing MGU’s appeal beyond the university in her roles as a member of the Co-op Student Committee, student representative for university open days, and campus concierge. She is a member of Associate Professor Kumiko Noguchi’s seminar group at the Department of International Studies. Ms. Oya has been conducting research into America’s history and indigenous people, and is currently preparing to write her graduation thesis next year. Her interests include listening to music, especially Western music and K-pop.
Experiences when first getting to know MGU at the open day
― In the last few years, open days have become an essential event for students choosing a university. Ms. Oya says that she looked around a number of universities when she was at high school, but only MGU stood out as being different from the rest.
When you visit lots of universities, you get a feel for their atmospheres and can compare them. It was at Meiji Gakuin University that I thought, “Oh! This one’s different somehow!”
I felt the people here were really nice. When I looked as though I needed help, the students actively approached me. And when I asked them for assistance, they responded kindly and with genuine concern for me, even though I was just a high school student. To be honest, I’d thought that university lecturers and students were the same everywhere, but somehow I felt that the atmosphere at MGU was unique, and that made an impression on me.
And before I knew it, I realized that I too wanted to become a university student capable of interacting like that with high school students at an open day. I investigated further and found that MGU had the Faculty of International Studies, which would let me pursue my aspiration of studying languages and international affairs at university. That was when I realized it had to be MGU and decided to take the entrance examination.
Building relationships for a more enriching university life
― After enrolling at MGU, Ms. Oya got involved in student activities as a student representative at open days (open day rep), member of the Co-op Student Committee, and campus concierge. As an open day rep, she shows high school students planning to take the entrance examination around the campus at open days. In her capacity as a member of the Co-op Student Committee and a campus concierge, she principally serves as an advisor to other MGU students. She plays an active role in publicizing MGU’s appeal to as wide an audience as possible and in supporting university entrants in leading a more fulfilling university life after admission.
Originally, I only wanted to be an open day rep, but after enrolling at MGU, the idea of getting involved in planning and running things on campus as a member of the Co-op Student Committee appealed to me, so that’s where I started my activities. Then a more senior student I met through that told me they were recruiting open day reps, so I got to fulfill my dream of becoming one. Later, when I talked about my hopes and ambitions to another senior student I’d met while serving as an open day rep, they told me about the activities of the campus concierges. It really brought home to me that MGU is a university that fosters very strong relationships between individuals. In my role as a campus concierge in particular, I serve as a student advisor, helping to address students’ worries and concerns so that students themselves can solve their own problems. I invariably find that we can solve students’ many and varied issues and concerns through relationships with our peers.
At MGU, there are many structures for providing students with support regarding their aspirations and concerns, and introducing them to people with more information through our social links. The breadth of these connections is quite astonishing and not only students, but also lecturers and staff familiar with students’ paths—and sometimes even the university as a whole—will offer support.
Society often regards university students as fully fledged adults. But while we have much more freedom than we did at high school, the reality is that we have a lot of worries, precisely because we can take on any challenges we want.
Whatever your concern—your studies, student clubs, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, study abroad, qualifications, job hunting, relationships with friends, student life itself—no matter how small, people will spare no effort in helping you to think the issues through and provide you with warm-hearted support. And they’ll give you all their encouragement to help you achieve your goals. MGU’s equipped with the structures and people to do that.
Everyone’s connected to everyone else somehow. In a convenience-centered society, that might seem like an obvious thing to say, but it often doesn’t feel that way at the personal level.
Defining the human warmth found at MGU
― At MGU, there’s a real sense that students support each other and help to enrich each other.
I want to make use of the experiences I've gained at MGU in the future. I've learned that, to do so, I need to pick up on as-yet-unvoiced hopes and anxieties, and look one step ahead in taking action. Of course, I’ve had failures and setbacks, but at times like that, I got to know lots of people who took the time to provide advice and think about solutions and were kind enough to tell me their thoughts, without hesitation.
The skills required to solve problems for oneself are truly important for students. It’s all too easy to get someone capable to do things for you and that does make solving a problem quicker, but true human warmth means really considering the other person’s perspective when thinking about what to do. Many of the students go so far as to consider their friends’ growth as well when taking action, helping to enrich each other as a result. I feel that this is what creates MGU’s ethos of valuing trust and consideration for others.
You have to grasp other people’s hopes and ideas to take them one step further. I feel this will be important, whatever job I end up doing once I go out into the world of work, so I want to keep honing my skills in this area.
Taking the benefits gained from experiences at MGU into the future
I want to keep experiencing that moment when the help I give people makes them smile. I’m sure I’m going to continue feeling this way once I become a working member of society. It makes me so happy to see someone smile once their anxieties have melted away. MGU is the place that made me realize what I want to do and how rewarding it is.
I’m even more convinced of this now that we can’t meet people in person, because a lot of our activities have gone online due to the COVID-19 crisis. Back when I was a high school student, I got a sense of MGU’s human warmth. I wasn’t mistaken in my impression.
Human warmth and the atmosphere of the university as a whole are something unique that can’t be created without many years of effort. At Meiji Gakuin University, you’re bound to be able to take on the challenges you want and achieve your goals. That’s because there are certain to be people who will spare no effort to support you in your aims. Why not come and enjoy student life at MGU, a university full of human warmth?