Question : I moved to a new city a few years ago but still feel like I don’t belong here. Everyone seems so negative and discouraging. To top it all, a few friends who made my life comfortable are now moving out. I don’t know how to deal with this. Teentalker , 16-year-old
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns.
Moving back to your hometown from another city or even country for that matter can certainly be challenging; given the differences in cultural norms and mentality of the people, thereby leading to culture shock.
It can be even more frustrating when your behaviour is perfectly acceptable in one culture and unacceptable in another society and even more so when the people that matter to you the most (such as your friends) start moving away.
Here are a few things that could potentially help you get through:
1. A few phases that people tend to go through when dealing with culture shock are as follows:
Frustration: Focusing on the difference between the place where you were born and the new city (the host culture). All problems start to feel big and unbearable at this stage.
Adjustment: Start becoming familiar with the new culture, values and setup. You will usually experience highs and lows as adjustment gradually takes place.
Acceptance: The new culture and face seems familiar and comfortable.
2. Get to know yourself better: You might want to get started by listing ’20 things I love about myself’. You can also work on tools such as ‘The MPS Process’, ‘Boost your self-esteem’, ‘Automatic Thoughts’, ‘SMART goals activity’ and ‘Values Worksheet’. You can find these tools by clicking on the ‘toolbox’ tab and selecting the option ‘tools’. This will motivate you to start planning for your future and will give you a lot to look forward to, which would also mean putting in your best effort for the next academic year.
3. Being aware of various acculturation strategies (according to John Berry) or the art of ‘fitting in’ will give you some perspective:
Integration: The individual maintains his or her own cultural identity and becomes absorbed in the host culture.
Assimilation: The individual gives up his or her own cultural identity and becomes absorbed in the host culture.
Separation: The individual maintains his or her own cultural identity and rejects involvement with the host culture.
Marginalization: The individual does not identify with or participate in either his or her own culture or the host culture.
Hope this helps, should you have any other query do connect online for chat between 11am-8pm or drop us an offline message.