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Apr 1, 2022
Congratulations to all new students for enrolling in APU. We welcome you from the bottom of our hearts. I am very happy and excited to be able to spend time with you at APU from now on.
There are three things I would like to tell you along with my congratulations.
The first thing is that, being 18 or 19 years old, this is a very important time for you all. In modern brain science, curiosity and interest in learning are said to peak between the ages of 18 and 19. Those who get into the habit of learning during this period can continue to study for the rest of their lives even after becoming a member of society. And there is empirical data that shows those who continue to learn for a lifetime can lead richer lives.
I hope that you will encounter people, books, and travel, that is, meet many people, read many books, travel the wide world, expand your knowledge, and learn the joy of learning. As for books, I'll give you a list of books I want you to read. I would like all who are entering the graduate school to pursue more specialized studies based on your experience and intellectual training, and take this opportunity to start your life-long learning.
The second is that I want you to find out what you are interested in and what you want to do at APU. The most fun thing in life is taking on the challenge you want. APU is like the United Nations for youth. It is a very small world where diverse students from different countries and regions with different cultures and values gather. I don't think there is any better environment in this wide world for finding out what you want to do in your future. Whether by studying or participating in extracurricular activities, find what you want to do or what you like and take on the challenge. The APU faculty members and I will do our utmost to support your learning and endeavors.
The third is that I want you to make friends. I think my friends are the most reliable and important thing in my life. Furthermore, because you are in the United Nations for youth, in this small world, you can make friends with people all over the globe. And if you get the chance, visit the hometowns of the friends you make at APU and fly out into the wider world.
I believe that these are the three things that will truly enrich your life: the desire to continue learning, the will to challenge yourself, and the friends you make. At APU, I sincerely hope that you will discover and master these three invaluable treasures.
Today, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of confusion and conflict going on around the globe. I sincerely hope that soon the day will come when the world will be at peace.
April 1, 2022
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
President Haruaki Deguchi