Learning the importance of challenging

Soeda and Shikishi tell Hakumon Herald



More than a thousand audiences come to see the school’s annual “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant. As Chuo’s faces of the year, contestants set the mood for various campus events during the runup to the contest. They make serious efforts to be successful, hoping to bring some changes to their present state through participation in the contest. Both Yohei Soeda, of the Accounting Department of the Faculty of Commerce, and Haruka Shikishi, of the Economics Department of the Faculty of Economics, were once among those aspirants. Soeda, who won the title of Mister Chuo, and Shikishi, the runner-up Miss Chuo, in the 2014 contest, will be graduating this spring. Hakumon Herald asked them to look back on their memories of the contest and their campus life thereafter.



Hoping to change the status quo



Yohei Soeda answers a question after winning the title of Mister Chuo in the contest in 2014.
Yohei Soeda answers a question after winning the title of Mister Chuo in the contest in 2014.

Both would-be graduates aspired to enter the contest toward the end of their first year at Chuo in the winter of 2014. Recalling those days, Soeda said, “I felt something muzzy about my boring daily life of only doing part-time jobs and some club activities. I wanted some changes in my life. That was why I decided to take part in the contest.” Shikisi said she first took an interest in a beauty pageant in her high-school days when her elder sister went to another university, participated in a contest there and won the crown of victory. “I was very much moved to see my sister clad in a wedding dress with plenty of confidence. After entering Chuo, it took me some time to decide to apply for the contest. But when I met the organizers of the event, I finally made up my mind and said to myself for the first time, ‘I will never miss my chance.’ That was about a year after I joined Chuo,” she said.



Looking back on his participation, Soeda said, “I felt a lot of pressure. But I could keep trying my best thanks to the strong support from my friends.” Shikishi echoed to Soeda.



Even after the contest ended, they continued challenging new things. Shikishi said, “The contest made me interested in the job of a TV newscaster. So I spent the rest of my student life making necessary preparations.” Soeda said, “After the contest, I also began to think seriously about my future career. I wanted to get a job related to TV program production. So I worked as a part-time TV assistant director in hopes of learning about the job.”



New dreams after trial and error



Haruka Shikishi looks relieved at the end of the “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant in 2014.  
Haruka Shikishi looks relieved at the end of the “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant in 2014.  

Later on, however, both Soeda and Shikishi decided to pursue new dreams quite different from their first ones. Shikishi has given up becoming a TV caster. She will be taking up a clerical job in an ordinary company this April. “After all my challenges, I couldn’t imagine my future self working as a caster. I asked myself, ‘What do I really want to do?’ I concluded that I like a job where I can feel the value of what I create. After all, that was why I decided to seek my career in the business world,” she said. Soeda, who has decided to take up a managerial post in a business company, said smilingly, “I want to have children at an early stage of my marriage so that I can play catch with them. I thought that if I get engaged in TV program production, I might take longer to have some mental leeway to do that. I have decided to take up my job offer so that I can lead a daily life with some elbowroom and don’t bother my future wife.”

だが、2人はそれぞれ当初とは違う夢を追うことを決意する。色紙さんは今年4月からアナウンサーではなく、一般企業で事務職として働く。「いろいろと挑戦はしたものの、アナウンサーとして活動している将来の自分が想像できませんでした。『私は何がしたいのか』と、自分に問いを投げかけ『私は自分が生み出す価値を間近で実感したい』という結論にいたりました。結局、ビジネスの世界で挑戦することにしたのはそれが理由です」(色紙) 一般企業の管理職を選んだ添田さんは「僕、早く子供がほしいんですよ。一緒にキャッチボールがしたい」と笑顔で話す。「テレビ番組の制作だと、精神的に余裕が持てるようになるまで時間がかかる。将来のお嫁さんに気を遣わせないよう、余裕を持った生活をするために今の就職先で頑張ろうと決めました」(添田さん)

 Hakumon Herald asked them what they have learned from their participation in the contest. “That’s the importance of trying to do something,” both Soeda and Shikishi replied in unison. You cannot go forward by just thinking. You must act to make your dream come true. That was their message. The two would-be graduates looked to have in themselves not just the brilliancy of Chuo’s faces they had once been but also the robustness of grown-ups who are prepared to take responsibility in society.



(Written by: Hideki Kato and Kohei Kuramoto)(加藤英樹、倉本康平)