ChitChat: Yokohama to Tokyo, More Than Just Changing Campuses


Abhiram Oggu and Pal Singwala both made a successful transition to the Tokyo Campus from Yokohama. They talk about their experiences.

IISJ Yokohama students transfer to the Tokyo campus once they are 11th Graders. Bigger School, more students, different teachers  – the experience can be overwhelming. Or not? In this edition of ChitChat, writer Pal Singwala gets tips from Abhiram Oggu on how to manage the switch.

Pal: I can’t believe how CBSE decided to cancel 10th Boards! I had to balance it with my 11th Grade studies, but now I can focus entirely on my Junior year. 

Abhiram: I know right, I was shocked too! But they still haven’t finalized anything about our 12th Boards yet and it’s honestly stressful. Anyways, how’s the switch to Tokyo?

 Pal: Well, shifting to a new campus, especially in the middle of High School when people already have their group of friends, it’s easier said than done, you know. 

Abhiram: Yeah, I remember my initial days here at the Tokyo campus. I had a rough first week. There were new classroom rules, new timings, and everyone was talking about things that I had no clue about. 

Pal:  Exactly! You know I’ve been at the Yokohama campus ever since kindergarten. But now that I’m here, it’s all so different.

Abhiram: I know how it feels. Personally, trying out unfamiliar things is what really kept me going. 

Pal: Hmm, but how did you adapt here? I’m pretty sure you did not know anyone when you left for Tokyo so it must’ve been hard right?

Abhiram: That’s true, I didn’t know a single person. You’re lucky since many of your old classmates are here with you now. In my case, I was the only student from Yokohama when I shifted campuses in 9th Grade. 

Pal: At least you didn’t have to take three trains, traveling two hours twice a day to go to school and back.

Abhiram: Haha. Moving into the Tokyo neighborhood turned out to be a huge plus for me, both emotionally and socially. Some of my classmates happened to be my neighbors and they helped me get in sync with the lifestyle here. By the way, are you planning to move too?

Pal: I’m not so sure. With COVID still around, I don’t think moving to Tokyo would be practical just yet. Is it a must?

Abhiram: Not really. It’s just that living here means you can hang out with your friends every now and then. But I also know a couple of people who journey from Yokohama and still have fun times with their friends here. You’ll be able to wake up late if you move here though.

Pal: As cool as that sounds, I think I’ll get used to the early mornings for now. I’m more concerned about making new friends.

Abhiram: Ahh, don’t worry too much about it. The student community’s very diverse in Tokyo. I’m sure you’ll meet a bunch of people who’ll want to get to know you. 

Pal: Even then, weren’t you ever bullied or taunted for being the new one? Not everyone’s going to want to be friends.

Abhiram: You know what they say, “It’s never about how many friends you make, but how much you can count on them.” People here do pull pranks on each other but with a good heart. I mean, how else do you make fun memories? And if you ever get bullied, well, you can rely on your classmates to stop that from happening. 

Pal: That’s a relief! What about the student-faculty ratio though? Having a smaller student body in Yokohama made it easy for us to keep in touch with our teachers. I doubt that’s going to be the case in Tokyo.

Abhiram: Teachers in Tokyo are as approachable and helpful as the ones in Yokohama. It won’t be a problem at all.

Pal: Good to know. I bet any student who decides to study at IISJ can relate to this. And honestly, talking about all this out loud really encourages me to move on, meet new people and start things afresh. Thanks a lot, Abhiram!

Abhiram: No problem, Pal.