New Learning at the University

When I entered Japan Women’s University, I decided to learn French because there were two reasons. The first reason was that I needed to take a course on a second language. Although I had initially thought about choosing Chinese, I decided to try learning French because I had heard that it was difficult to learn and I wanted to see if it was true. The other reason was that French is considered an official language in many countries and I thought it would be useful for me if I learned it. I have a dream of traveling to Belgium, and since French is one of the official languages of Belgium, I thought I would give it a try.
In French, all nouns have feminine and masculine forms, so the first thing I had to do was to memorize them. It was very difficult because these forms are not found in either Japanese or English. In university, I took three French-related classes: grammar, pronunciation, and culture. The grammar class was very difficult, and I experienced the difficulty of having to relearn a new language from scratch. However, university language classes are only once a week, so I had to find time to review on my own since I could not review in class every day like I used to when I was learning English in junior high school and high school. It was in this area that I strongly felt that the concept of learning was different from what I was used to when I entered university. In the grammar class, I realized that I was very bad at French grammar. Even though I tried my best to listen to the lessons and review at home, my quiz scores did not improve and I was very worried. I decided to start by reviewing the basics, such as verbs, and wrote them down in a notebook. After this, my quiz scores started improving. I felt that starting something new was difficult and painful, but rewarding at the same time.
In the French culture class, we were able to learn about French regional specialties and conversational expressions. We learned about France by watching many videos, some of which were French-themed animated films, music, and movies. I learned that it is possible to learn about the culture of a country with which we are not familiar through something familiar to us, such as Japanese animation, and this gradually made me feel less intimidated by the French culture. This also made me interested in various French-themed films.
I also made a friend in the classes I took. We studied together by sharing what we did not understand in class and helping each other. This was much more reassuring than taking the classes alone. Owing to learning a new language French, I was able to build a friendship with her.
When I chose to study French at university, I was worried because it was completely new for me and there were not many people around me who would choose it, but that was why I thought it would be rewarding and broaden my interests. I would like to continue learning it so that it will be useful in my life in the future.