Some universities try to recruit students by telling them about all the fun they’ll have there, but not this Tokyo institute of higher learning.

For many people in Japan, the four years of college are a brief respite between the crushing pressures of secondary education and professional life. Compared to junior and senior high school classes that throw a constant barrage of tests at their pupils, most college courses are relatively easy, and they certainly afford students more free time than they’ll have in the notoriously intense adult working society of Japan.

Because of that, many university advertisements don’t even show students in a classroom setting. Instead, they might just feature a close-up of a beaming 20-year-old vaguely commenting about how she’s broadening her horizons and chasing her dreams, or similar text surrounding a group of smiling and fashionable friends basking in the freedom of not having to wear uniforms at school for the first time in at least seven years.

But Komazawa University, located in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, wants you to know that being accepted to the school doesn’t mean you’re being welcomed to Easy Street, and has created this in-train ad to get the message across.

The text translates as:

My professor said I have to rewrite the report I stayed up all night working on.
I got kicked down to the practice squad on the sports team I joined.
My girlfriend told me she’s started seeing someone else.

Today was a good day.
It’s another chance to take on the challenge of reinventing myself.

Four years of nothing but growth as a person.

The startlingly frank depiction of the potential pitfalls of college life sent chills down the spine of the Japanese Internet, including the Twitter user who shared the photo, @johnny_survivor. Despite his eminently resilient-sounding name, @johnny_survivor whimpered “At that point, there’s nothing left to do but die.”

Still, it’s a fact that no one gets through four years of university without at least one academic, athletic, or romantic setback, and it’s not like those challenges always take turns hitting you, either. So maybe we should be applauding Komazawa University for its tough love approach in letting applicants know that college life is going to throw them a few curves.

And keep that chin up, Johnny. After all, you’ll be made stronger by whatever doesn’t kill you, no matter how close it might come.

Source: Jin, Twitter/@johnny_survivor
Top image: Wikipedia/Vasset