Oh, cool, a bandwagon! Is there still room for me on board?
I agree completely with the "Y U SO NEGATIVE" posts! Why on earth would anyone react negatively to a thread like this? The simple truth is, the vast majority of JETs come from first-world nations and, therefor, live incredibly privileged lives, even if they're not aware of this fact. We're accustomed to facing all sorts of first-world problems, and it is the height of insensitivity for one to assume that these problems aren't truly frustrating, serious obstacles to our health and safety. Japan is a first-world nation, to be sure, but it comes with a slew of its own unique first-world problems, many of which new ALTs have never experienced.
First-world problems are a very serious matter, and should be taken very seriously. There won't be people holding your hand from the moment you step off the plane. Well, actually, there will, but there won't be many resources or much available support once you arrive at your placement. Well, actually, there will, but there won't be lots of native people around you who will bend over backwards to help you when you need it. Well, actually, there will, but there won't be anyone around to give you a swift kick in the butt when you need it. But, hey, that's what the internet is for, amiright?
All that said, please, please, please, people! READ these posts. The OP's list was a good one, there are many other good posts, and I hope you'll take mine seriously. Oh, I tossed a few LOLs in there for fun (and while I'll be the first to agree that not everyone shares my sense of humor, I think it's pretty obvious when I'm joking and when I'm being earnest), but these things must be truly, thoughtfully considered. One of the ALT deaths that I mentioned actually happened. It was truly a terrible, terrible tragedy, one which I, as a fourth-year JET, hope never to see repeated.
To those Negative Nancys, those haters and trolls--SHAME on you. You should know better than to assume everyone can handle things that seem obvious to you simply because they haven't lived your particular lifestyle. How arrogant and obnoxious of you! What's worse, you're assuming that they have a healthy sense of self-efficacy. American schools have emphasized self-esteem for years, rather than self-efficacy, and as a result, many young Americans today feel that, while they are great people, winners all, they may not be capable of handling certain first-world problems without a bit of help. Why would you come here and attempt to insult them and diminish their self-esteem? It's rude, unprofessional, and appallingly insensitive.
The world will be a much better place when we can learn to face the truth that first-world problems are real, they are serious, and they have the potential to seriously affect the happiness and well-being of any new ALT. Let's all try to keep in mind that our differences should be celebrated. Sometimes it's good, even healthy, to laugh at our problems and differences, but we absolutely must remain civil and understanding towards one another.
Thanks for allowing me to call this one like I see it, folks. You're awesome!
William MacDonald wrote:Not only am I braver, wiser and generally a better human than [word] (and humbler to boot), but I'm also more knowledgeable than [him]...