Finals season has finally arrived here at Kansai Gaidai University. I scramble day and night to study for what seems will be the impossible final examinations. My mind has become so cluttered with hundreds of new things I have learned throughout the semester and mixed emotions about the semester coming to a relatively quick end. It seems as if I watched this whole semester past right before my eyes. I have watched the clock hands go around and around on the clock the whole 4 months I have been here. It sad to see that my time is gradually becoming shorter and shorter with each day, but I still have the same level of curiosity and excitement manifest inside me for the upcoming holidays and new semester. I am of course sad to see all the new friends I have made here go back to their countries or go on their long vacations if they are still residing in Japan. To not be able to see a familiar face in a crowd of unfamiliar new exchange students flood the campus once again. Not being able to come home to the lively sounds of my host family’s grandchildren screaming and recklessly playing the piano downstairs anymore. This will be the first year in my entire life that I will not be able to spend the precious holidays with close friends and family. I miss home. These are the things that I have often thought about these past couple of weeks as the semester has begun to wind down. They truly feel like I touching the thorns of a beautiful rose that is welting away. Though the thorns hurt, and the welting of the rose is inevitable, more roses will grow. I will see many more roses. The new adventures that await me in the next semester here in Japan excites me more than when I had first came to Japan 4 months ago. I now know things that will be able to guide me more smoothly through these next coming months than when I first arrived. I am excited to see where Japan will take me, and how much I will learn and face. These thoughts have been the highlight of these past weeks in my opinion. I truly can’t wait to see the new roses that will pop up everywhere, showing me a new adventure. From the cement floors of the classrooms to the beautiful Mount Fuji waiting for me to pick and nurture them.