I meant to address this sooner, but two Fridays ago I decided not to do homestay. Before I came to Japan and started my program at JCMU I was deadset on doing homestay; it was a non-negotiable part of The Plan. I told everyone that I was going to live with Japanese folks. During my interview with the coordinator, I said all the right things to ensure that I would get placed with a family. All along, I believed that the only way I could develop my Japanese skills to the utmost degree would be to completely immerse myself, including staying with a Japanese family.
Maybe that's true, maybe that is the only way. But once I got here and decision time approached, for some reason I wasn't excited about the idea anymore. I realized that the lessons I'm learning through living on my own here are more important to me right now. As much as I hated to go against The Plan, I had to admit to myself that it would be better for me to stay here than to completely go all-in, which I'm probably not ready to do anyway. Thinking back on it after this summer has passed I may regret my decision, but right now I'm perfectly fine where I am.