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Over 40 years ago, I was a student at a university in the American Midwest. I want to share a funny and surprising story from those days – something called a “panty raid.” This was when male students were allowed to ”visit” female students’ rooms and take their panties and other underwear.
Back then, I had a tough choice to make: should I join in or just watch? I asked a fellow Japanese student who had been in the United States for a long time for advice. He didn’t like the idea at all.
One night, after all the noise on campus had settled down, some Japanese exchange students, including me, went out to see what had really happened.
What we saw that night is something I’ll never forget. There was a boy leaning out of an upstairs window of a dormitory, proudly showing off what he had collected during the raid. He used a long stick to do it. Several girls stood below, looking up at him, a mix of curiosity and feeling powerless. One of the girls even shouted to the boy, “Show us something more interesting!”
I don’t think anything like this could happen at Japanese colleges or universities. And even in America, I doubt such an event would be allowed today.
But the lesson I learned that night is simple: when a chance comes along, grab it.
In the end, my time as a student in America was full of funny and unforgettable moments that made my life richer. I hope sharing this story has given you a glimpse into my unique experiences during my American campus days and inspired you to take opportunities when they come your way.