I have heard many things about the relative discomfort and aggravation of living the life of a student, particularly at the graduate level.
You're always under the supervision of an authority figure, for better or for worse. Your life is not necessarily your own (again, for better or for worse). Provided you're on a government scholarship funded by a recently slashed education budget and conducting some seriously cost-heavy observational research, you're embarrassingly poor and incredibly reluctant to buy anything not immediately relevant to your survival so that you can afford your books (which are clearly priced for top-level executives, and not the poor humble likes of we.)
But then again, at least in Japan...
You get this much food for 210 yen.
That, my friends, is a small bowl of rice, a hearty serving of miso soup, and a pile of tempura. All for me. All for 210 yen. (The tea is free. Ignore the tea. It is inconsequential.)
食堂 (shokudou; cafeteria) are far and away my favorite places to eat. Ever.
And then there's all the 学生割引 (gakusei waribiki; student discount) you find everywhere you look. Honestly, you can't swing a cat around Kyoto and not hit a place that offers some sort of discount for the academically inclined youth. It even got me a free service plan with au--all I pay for is data service, and even that's discounted thanks to an age-based service.
So really, being a student in Japan? It's not bad, my friends, not bad at all.
This is Edo, signing out only wishing that Japanese cafeterias were as close to her bedroom as the ones on her US college campus were.
3 hours ago