Choosing a direction
High school was a much better place. There were no boys, and the girls were top students from schools in the district. I felt ordinary among them.
The moment we entered the school, we were required to decide which direction to go after high school. The reputation and the ranking of the school were determined by the number of students entering top universities. They particularly valued state universities than private ones.
I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future. I had a vague idea that I’d want a high profile job that’d give me enough financial power to live independently. It was hard to picture myself in any such professions, as I hardly ever saw the representation of professional women in the media or real life. I will write more about this later.
State universities didn’t appeal to me. The top two were Tokyo and Kyoto universities, neither of which I had confidence or intelligence to get in. There was a local one, which would be perfect if you were to become a teacher in their hometown or work for the local government. One of the best state universities was located in the abutting prefecture, which was great for jobs at the state government or electric power company.
I wanted to go to a school in Tokyo. Also, I wanted to go to a school that committed to liberalism. And there was one university that fulfilled both requirements – Waseda University.
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