Due to the spread of the COVID-19, most classes during the the first semester have been online, and many freshman students are unable to attend the university and finish the first semester. In President Tetsuo Arakawa’s class for freshman students titled "How to learn at Osaka City University", we gave the students a chance to voice their concerns. We would like to introduce some of the most common concerns and advice from President Arakawa.
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Q. Student Concerns
Concerns about loneliness and interaction
What to do about classes after the second semester
- I am worried about getting on the train when I go to school.
- I am sad that school festivals may disappear.
- What will information sessions be like for those preparing to be teachers?
About learning in general
About club activities and circles
- I am wondering whether to join club activities.
- I’m not excited to look into the activities circles are engaged in.
About what to come after graduation
- I am worried if I can get a good job due to COVID-19
- I do not know where I am going in life right now.
- I have two dreams I want to pursue, and I cannot decide on which one.
About communication skills
- How do I get the courage to connect with someone I met for the first time?
- How should I deal with people who are not good at communicating?
A. Replies from President Tetsuo Arakawa
Despite coming to OCU full of expectations, I am sorry for the pain you currently feel.
What I recommend is to join club activities and circles. When I entered OCU in 1969, the buildings were taken over by school conflict, there were no classes (there was no remote technology at that time), and I often studied during club activities. This was a big deal for my growth.
Difficult situations are opportunities for people to grow. If you have any questions or concerns, please first contact the Student Affairs Division "Counseling about Anything” window 「なんでも相談窓⼝」.
If you know someone with similar concerns, please share this information. "There is no spring without winter"
Try to avoid rush hours as much as possible.
Unless there is a person who speaks loudly on the train (which there usually is not), the risk of infection is not so high because it is ventilated and most everyone wears a mask.
However, the risk of infection is always present, not just on trains. Carry around alcohol and always disinfect your fingers. Disinfectant is provided by the university if you bring a container.
Buy a small container for 100 yen or use an empty water bottle and bring it to the Safety and Security Management Office (1st floor of the Student Support Center). Also, please refer to "Important Notices" on the official website of Osaka City University. If you know anyone with similar concerns, please share this information.
I understand your worries. What if they disappear? What if I cannot? What if you cannot? Better to think what you will do WHEN you cannot. This is positive thinking. Think about what second best is. That may be the idea that exceeds the first best. Hard times are just opportunities in disguise.
For those who are new to the teaching profession, please check "Guidance on the whole university teaching profession" on the UNIPA bulletin board for information sessions on the teaching profession. If you have any questions about the teaching profession, please contact the following.
[Contact for inquiries about the teaching profession]
TEL: 06-6605-2936, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I sometimes lose motivation to do work I have to do.
Forcing it does not really increase efficiency. In such cases, cut it off clean. Sleep, watch a movie, go for a walk, read a book, just do nothing for a bit.
After a while, you will be motivated. If it still does not come, you should change your closest target to something that is motivating.
Club activities and circles are important. I want you to participate in them as soon as possible. In June, we started activities while taking proper countermeasures. Freshman students have already started to participate. We ask that the faculty you belong to hold guidance sessions for freshmen by the start of the second semester, but at the same time, we ask that each club holds information sessions (although they cannot hold welcoming parties for newcomers).
Also, do not miss information coming in about other events! For any concerns or consultations, including these, please visit the "Counseling about Anything” window 「なんでも相談窓⼝」in the Student Affairs Division.
If you know someone with similar concerns, please share this information.
The degree to which COVID-19 has sickened the economy is immeasurable, so clearly there are concerns about future employment. However, humans have overcome such crises many times before.
By focusing on the school activities that lay before you and refining your inner self, you will surely be able to open the way. "Every cloud has a silver lining"
I think many of your classmates have this problem too. Challenge yourself with many things and meet a lot of people. Right now, you may not know what your path is, but there is one.
Circles and club activities are a place to start. Face to face classes will start in the second semester. Through dialogue you will figure out where you are going. Hard times are just opportunities in disguise.
I think it is amazing that you have two options for the future. It may even increase to three, or it may be narrowed down to one. You should have as many choices as you want while you are young and worry about them to your hearts content. When you decide, do not hesitate. Worry until you decide. Sometimes it is fun to worry.
2 things I recommend doing while you are young: club activities; study abroad.
Interact with as many different people as possible (circles and club activities are perfect), and study abroad even for a short period of time. The latter is difficult now, but I think it is still possible while you are in school. Regarding the former, if there is a circle / club activity you want to enter please visit the "Counseling about Anything” window 「なんでも相談窓⼝」in the Student Affairs Division.
. They will tell you how to gather information and if there are opportunities for information sessions, etc. If you know someone with similar concerns, please share this information.
I cannot say that I always have the courage to start a conversation with someone. For example, let us say you happen to be at the same table in the cafeteria with someone. In my case, when I talk to that person, I first wonder if he/she would be annoyed by my advance. But I still reach out. I say “Hello” bright with a smile. If I get a reply, I introduce myself. Always start with a “Konnichiha Niko.”
It depends on how they are not good, but for those who don't like it, I first think, "What good thing is there about this person?" Until now, there have been only a few people for whom I have not found such a thing. If you find a good point, you will like that person from that point. It is weird but If you are able to do this, they will likely do it in return.
This is difficult, however, there is a workaround when you are not motivated. Do not force motivation, instead, (1) just sit there and do nothing, (2) watch a movie, (3) walk / jog, or (4) go hit some baseballs around. If you refresh your mind, you will regain your motivation.