I have attended to a college in Tokyo before going into medicine. It was Tokyo Metropolitan College of Aeronautical Engineering in a downtown area of Tokyo.
I had been crazy for ham radio in jr. high days and was told by my parents to study something of practical science which could help me to be engaged in some job as soon as I graduate the school. I didn't have any distinct idea or dream at that time. Vaguely thinking to major in engineering or something, I have admitted the mechanical engineering faculty at that school. Later, I knew I was more interested in human being than milling machine.
Anyway, I have spent 5 years at this school from age 15 years. Most of my friends since jr. high days were quite busy preparing for the entrance exams for universities, while such hectic competition was a thing in another world for me and class mates at this college. The professional subjects at this school class were levelled as high as the mechanical engineering course in universities. I was not interested in those professional subject class and the practice of machine operation at the factory in the school. One time, heavily tired with the work with milling machine, I took a bit rest sitting down on the floor. It was when I was kicked from behind by a teacher instructing us at the factory. I knew engineering was not my profession in the future. Among various books I have read at that time, some of the books concerning psychiatry have attracted me. Such as Jaspers, Frankle, Minkovsky etc. It was an interest in the psychology or, rather philosophical anthropology. It might be a phase of wandering in adolescence. Whatever the reason might be, I have given up studying those professional studies but, at the 5th year of the college, have started preparing for the entrance exam for med school. It was the time when I quit operating radio as well. I must be quite serious at preparation for the entrance exam or could not be successful at it. It took me another 10 years to come back on the air and to meet many old friends again.
This kind of college system is historically pretty new. Around 1960, there have been political enthusiasm among young people, especillay, university students, who were strongly against renewing the Japan US Security Treaty. I believe the business leaders didn't want young people to be too political, especially, against the capitalism. Younger engineers without any consciousness of political issues were highly needed from the standpoint of the business and political leaders. And they have invented this kind of college where students would study profession as much as the university faculty students did while they were given minimum liberal arts studies. I am sure they have tried to educate young engineers who won't complain of or even strike out for labor dispute etc. It seems the aim has been half accomplished. But nowadays, more than half of the graduates from such college would go to university for further study. It might be too short for them to study their profession sufficiently.
I don't know what has happened to me if I went on studying engineering. If not medicine, I might go to a university to study the other subjects. Maybe, I would have spent my life as a school teacher. It was another interest for me. No one knows which was better for me. It might be meaningless to imagine that. Now going on to the last chapter of life is what I should do.
This is a photo of the college, a bit modified from the days I attended there. The campus still brings me back to those days.
It has had a big garage for air planes. As the name of the school used to mean, the origin of this school was a school for aeronautical engineering before WWII. Though I was a student of merely mechanical engineering, I had a few classes on air plane design etc. By a stupid governor of Tokyo, the name has been changed to another one without aeronautical engineering. I hope this school will maintain the tradition of aeronautical engineering.