Now for a bit about me!
I have an English name because I’m half-New Zealander, and half Japanese. However, I spent most of my early childhood years living in Hong Kong. (I don’t know any Chinese unfortunately!) In my several years living in Hong Kong I have acquired a taste for good Chinese food. I visited Hong Kong for the first time in over 10 years over the summer, so you can probably imagine how giddy I was to eat authentic dim sum food for the first time in forever!
My time in Hong Kong ended after our family moved back to Japan, first to Kobe. It was great to be back where the rest of my Japanese family was, and to live in a place where I understood what everyone was saying!
When I moved to Tokyo a couple of years later, I was overwhelmed by how big the city was. Going to an all-boys international school in Tokyo was definitely an interesting experience, but certainly a busy one (*cough* IB *cough*). Nevertheless, I am grateful for all the friends I made there.
Like Emiri, I moved around quite a lot when I was still younger. Tokyo is the place I have lived the longest, so it may be the place I can call home. That being said, Kobe, Hong Kong, and the small New Zealand city where my grandparents live also still hold a special place in my heart.
My swimming life
I don’t really have much to say for myself other than the fact that I swim quite a bit. Anyone who knows we will probably tell you I smell like chlorine every time they meet me! I tried a number of different sports when I was little, but I somehow ended up settling with swimming.
I’ve been swimming since about 5 years old, and finally decided to start swimming competitively at 9 years old. It has been an absolute roller coaster ride since then, with many of my darkest and happiest memories being at competitions over the years. Swimming has made me much more disciplined, and kept me focused throughout middle and high school. I really think that I wouldn’t have done as good in school if I wasn’t swimming.
Over the years I have had my moments to shine, having coming first in my age group in my first year of high school, and swimming at the World Cup and Japan Open in my last year of high school. All the hard work seems to have paid off since the team here at Princeton saw something in me! I couldn’t be more excited to have another four years of swimming to enjoy here at Princeton.
Why I chose Princeton
I think I have a unique college search being a varsity athlete here at Princeton. My search for schools really only began in the second half my junior year of high school, where I got in touch with a good handful of coaches at different universities. Coming from an international school, I considered schools not only in the States, but also within Japan and down south in Australia. I was looking for a place that would provide me with a world-class education, but also let me pursue my goals in swimming. There are only a few schools that fit what I was looking for, and overall, I found that colleges in the States allow student-athletes to succeed in their sport and in their academics better than any other country. After months of email exchanges with coaches and one hectic visit to the east coast at the beginning of senior year of high school, it ultimately came down to Harvard and Princeton.
This may not be that relevant to most of the readers here, but the thing that set apart Princeton from Harvard was how tightly-knit the swim team was. Coming from all the way from Japan, I (and my parents!) wanted a team that would take care for me during my college career. The sense of family that I felt here is something that is special to Princeton. I have found the same care and kindness from many of my friends whom I’ve met around campus or who I share the same dorm hall with. While I only had a couple hours to spend with the team, I instinctively knew that this was the team that I wanted to be on. The swim and dive team had a rough season last year, so it is exciting to be part of a team-wide effort to change ourselves for the better.
That’s all I have for now.
I apologize for how terrible I am at introducing myself (すまん！) Thank you for reading and here is a video of our training trip in October!