Culture Magazine

An Open Letter to IUJ

By Bee

Dear IUJ,

It’s been 4 years since I graduated and left you but the memories you have given me will always be a part of who I am today.

First of all, let me Thank you for the opportunities, the memories, struggles and triumphs, for the friendships, connections and network. And most of all for giving me the opportunity to explore the world, travel and be free from self struggle.

It is you in your Student Dorm I found solace from the world. Freedom and independence. It is you who have thought me and opened my eyes that life in your place is completely different from the life I have lived and left in the province of Negros Island in the Philippines. It is you who have taught me to appreciate technology more, enjoy my first four (4) season experience and a major factor of me being me, open and independent.

I may have struggle on my studies during my years of stay with you but those were easily overpowered by the positive impact the professors have left me, as well as the constant aid by friends. These people I have met become a part of my life and though most of us are miles and countries apart, I knew that I have friends in that corner of the earth because of you.

I still miss the everything about you. My room, the lounge, the kitchen, the smell of library, the endless nights spent in the computer rooms to make up for the paper deadlines, the bus, the late night coffee in the vending machine at the cafe no problem, the “baiten” (school store), and the trees.

When I first came to you, it was end of September and the air is already getting colder as your campus is preparing to embrace the Autumn Season. Then straight from my own eyes, I see how the leaves of your trees and surroundings changed from green to yellow and red as you fully welcomed the fall and it means I have to embrace your colder and windy air too. And as the season changes, I can not help but marvel from the beauty of nature on how it embrace the changing season. With strong winds and leaves fallen, winter is coming.

My much-anticipated Winter Season. As you have described that your geographical setting is the “Snow Country” of Japan, I cannot help but remember the first day the snow started to descend from the sky. It was late November of 2007 and from my room I can hear the laughter and excitements of other student as feather like snow rains and then I woke up with gray and gloomy sky, white layer of snow-covered the once green grass and rice fields while Mt. Hakkai is up there withstanding the cold season also covered with snow. I remember chatting a friend telling her I have finally seen snow, turn my camera for a while at the window for her to see what I am excited about. During the late night of studying and early morning rise in preparation for your exams, I cannot help wander off my thoughts as I sip my coffee staring at my window and just simply enjoy the solitude and marvel the beauty of winter. Then came the never-ending rain, a sign for me to embrace the new season.

After spending a winter wonderland, came the Season of Spring. I will always treasure the memory of fresh scent of leaves, dew drops every morning as I am excited to see the Cherry Blossom lane behind your tennis court unfolds its beauty. I enjoyed my afternoon and sometimes together with my bicycle as I stroll down the lane with all of these beautiful white and pink Cherry Blossoms. Though short-lived, that experience is one of a kind!

Then came another strong winds as you bombarded the dorms, the heavy thunderstorm even in the mornings. A sign that I am finally embracing the Summer Season in your campus. Much to my loneliness to let go of friends graduating, your billiard table and lounges has kept me entertained throughout the rest of the summer as I embrace a new chapter of my campus life and as we welcome new students from all over the world.

And finally came the time where I too shall left your embrace as I continue my journey in life. Now, I am back to my home country and started another chapter of my life as a working professional but your memories is so fresh that I cannot help but always rewind it on my mind and or even with friends.

Thank you. Until we meet again!



(Bee’s note: This series of “An Open Letter” is out of inspiration from “Love Letter” by

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