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Living & Learning / Take every given chance given to you

Courtesy of Mei Takehana

Mei Takehana, right, with a friend in front of the cafeteria on campus

By Mei Takehana (Sarah Lawrence College) / Special To The Japan News I try to take as many and as varied chances as possible. It might look like my interests and things I have done at Sarah Lawrence College are all over the place, but I believe that students, particularly at a liberal arts college, can benefit from taking many and varied chances.

In fall 2016, I took hold of an opportunity to challenge myself. I was and am neither a good writer nor even a writer, but I decided to go to SLC, which is known as a writing school.

In spring 2017, I took the opportunity to take a class about indigenous people, though I barely knew anything about them. The class gave me an opportunity to go to the United Nations to volunteer at a conference on indigenous issues — and the chance to realize my ignorance.

In fall 2017, I took the opportunity to attend an interdisciplinary program. As part of the program, I took dance classes, which I would never take otherwise. I also did community partnership work. I spent a lot of time in Yonkers, which has different demographics from Bronxville though they are only 10 minutes away from each other. I learned so much about Yonkers and dance, which I was not originally interested in, and the experiences broadened my knowledge.

In spring 2018, I took one of the best opportunities of my life. I studied abroad in Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The program focused on learning about cultures from experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, which included homestay and sightseeing. I had concerns before I went, but I took the chance before I missed it. The experience has changed the way I think and given me a new perspective. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

In fall 2018, I am taking a non-fiction writing class and a documentary filmmaking class. I will probably struggle because I am pretty bad at writing and have no experience in filmmaking. However, I will still take the chance and I look forward to learning something new and unexpected.

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I have no clue about my future, but there is one thing I know: I will always take every chance given to me.

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Sarah Lawrence College

The private liberal arts college located in Yonkers, N.Y., is known for its emphasis on scholarship in the humanities, performing arts and writing. Notable alumni include performance artist Yoko Ono.Speech

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