Dear Incoming Newbies w/no Japanese Skills...
You are just as welcome as the people who spent years studying the language. You are just as apt to make this a good experience as someone who got to study abroad in university. You were hired onto the JET program for a reason, which is just as valid as someone who feels they’re going to adjust more easily because of their skillsets in the language.
Will things be tougher in some cases? Yes. Very much so.
Will things be more beautiful in some cases? Yes. Very much so.
Will you have a harder time adjusting? Maybe, maybe not.
Will your experience be any less than someone who studies 10 hours a week to improve their language skills? It depends on you not comparing yourself to that person, or any other person for that matter.
To the newbies who DO have Japanese skills… I know it can be tough. You see someone struggling through and think, “If you just~” or “when I had to do this~” or “why don’t you~”
Stop. I know that you worked hard. Languages take dedication, and I know you got to where you are with a motivation that I admire and that I and many others do not have! But still… you gotta stop, y’all.
You don’t know what mitigating factors there were in this person’s life. You don’t know what they’re trying to do now. You don’t know anything except your own motivations and skillsets. Focusing on those is good! Comparing yourself to someone without them is not.
Just… wanted to make sure you guys come here and know what’s what. Every single year, I see a lot of people posting about “learn the language before you come” and “how frustrating that you can’t do this simple thing” and “why even come to Japan if you don’t wanna speak Japanese”….
That’s just shitty vibes, friends. And to be honest, this post should just be titled “comparisons are the devil” and just have a large bold NO SHITTY VIBES beneath it. Maybe I’ll do that next year. But for now, just have this as a reminder that you’re all coming out to a new country to experience it as you are going to, and trying to manage other peoples’ enjoyment/motivations while doing so just ain’t sustainable.