Over the past few months, I’ve been feeling a little stressed about making the move home. I started my preparations for leaving way back in April by searching online for advice and lists of things to do to get ready – and, frankly, it was overwhelming!!
In order to make sense of all of the information, I made my own checklist that I wanted to share with you. Using the information in the After JET Handbook published by CLAIR, the Leaving JET information on the Akita JET Wiki, and information on other AJET websites (shout out to Ishikawa and Niigata!), I put all of the things I had to do in an Excel spreadsheet in no particular order. Then, I went through each item and assigned it either a Start By date or a Finish By date. I sorted my completed checklist in chronological order and ended up with a neat, orderly, no longer overwhelming list of things to do!
You can view my (slightly edited) checklist here: Leaving JET Checklist
On Monday, we had our prefecture-wide Returners and Recontractors Conference where all of us Akita JETs were split up into those Returning (aka, Leaving JET) and those Recontracting for another year. The Returners side of the conference covered things like what utilities we should cancel, what to do with our cars, how to prepare for our successors, methods of shipping our stuff home, and how to get our pension refund. I had already made my checklist before the conference, so I got to sit back, relax, and just confirm everything I had already researched! (And, of course, ask some small questions to our awesome PAs!) It was a full day of getting important information, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all!
While this checklist method works for me (I love lists – I make them for everything!), it may not be what works best for you. And, as a goal-oriented person, having the Start By and Finish By dates gives me something to aim for and also stops me from procrastinating! I recommend finding a method that works for you so you can enjoy your last few months on the JET Programme without too much stress!
With only seven weeks and one day to go before I leave Japan, I’d like to think that everything is falling into place nicely! :)