Reverse Culture Shock

You expected culture shock when you studied abroad. You expected to be baffaled by the customs of your new home. You expected to question the locals behavior. Culture shock when you study abroad is a given, but you never expected to experience culture shock when you returned.

How is it even possible to feel culture shock in the only culture, up until a few months ago, you’ve ever known? You grew up in this culture, it’s ingrained in you. So why, does it feel so out of place and strange after only being gone for a couple of months?

All of sudden you start questioning things you used to think were completely normal. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the things you used to not even have to think about. And, there may be some things you will never readjust to. Here are just a few ways you know you’re dealing with reverse culture shock.

  1. When you walk into a restaurant, coffee shop, etc. you start going over your order in a foreign language until you remember they speak English shm1
  2. Your stomach is so confused by your new feeding schedule “why am I eating dinner while the sun is still up?”
  3. You try to walk out of a bar with your drink before you remember open container laws are a thing here wsod
  4. You try to get into a bar before you realize the drinking age here is 21 and it’s actually enforcedW28tx6T
  5. You instinctively say “grazie”, “merci”, or “gracias” when accepting your starbucks drink from the barista- then turn bright red, mutter “sorry”, and run out of that place emb1
  6. You’re absolutely perplexed when you order a medium soda and receive 32oztumblr_np5ho2HBFC1qehu0oo3_400
  7. You still get surprised when you can read all the signs, headlines, and directions you come across tumblr_murytdV03k1s8d8uno2_500
  8. You show up to work 15 minutes late forgetting about that European grace periodtumblr_np2r9kE6Ns1rkj1zco1_500
  9. Now that you can understand what people are saying on TV you can ditch those silly books and get back to reality TV…..Kidding! (kind of)downloadHere’s hoping the adjustment period for reverse culture shock ends soon giphy

Making the Most of Your Summer Break

The months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are brimming with possibilities and opportunities. You have over three months to do with as you please. As college students, we have a couple options; internships, summer classes, travel/study abroad, or summer job.

Ideally, I would be traveling around the globe this summer; perhaps hiking in Australia or wandering around Morocco. Seeing as I just got back from a semester in Italy that was financially out of the question. I should be interning somewhere to make the real person job search I must commence next May that much easier but that one didn’t pan out in my favor either. So now, I’m back in my hometown, working the summer job I have had for the past four years.

If I’m being honest that doesn’t bum me out as much as it probably should. Working an easy summer job means you have the time and energy for summer shenanigans and maybe even a transformation.

Replenish that bank account: Every internship I applied for would make me less than my gig lifeguarding. And, many internships college students accept are unpaid. Studying abroad and summer classes drain your funds instead of building them. After two semesters of late night pizza, alcohol, and the necessary retail therapy that finals always requires, that bank account could use a little love.

Get back on that health grind: I, like most college students, have a tendency to let my health fall to the wayside at school. When I’m stressed all I want is chocolate. And how can I be expected to get up and run when I’m too hungover to even get out of bed? Sober me knows how bad greasy pizza is for me and my skin but drunk me wants all of it and she wants it now. Summer at home is a great time to focus on working out and eating healthy without the temptation that you find on a college campus. I even made one of my friends become my cyber workout partner because if we use snapchat to guilt each other into working out there might actually be results. 

Reconnect with old friends: After freshman year of college, you’re still talking to most of your friends from high school and meeting up for weekly bonfires in the summer. By the end of sophomore year you’ve narrowed it down to only a few really good friends from high school. By the time you’re done with junior year, there are tons of people from your past that you haven’t talked to or seen in years. Take your relationship from a “like” on their new profile picture to brunch where you catch up on all the amazing things you’ve been up to since you graduated.

Pursue your passions: The wonderful thing about summer jobs that differs from school or internships is that when you leave for the day, you’re done. You don’t spend the night thinking about work or having to take work home with you. Once you leave, you are free. Take this extra, stress-free time to do the things you always want to do but never have the time for- crafting, writing, learning to play guitar, reading whatever it is #justdoit

Make strides in the professional world: Also with this stress-free time, take a few beats to work toward your professional goals. Contact and shadow someone with a job that you would love to have one day. Polish your resume so it’s ready for whatever pops up, whenever it pops up. Create a portfolio that shows off all the amazing work you’ve done so far and how  capable you are.

Have all the shennanigans: As a rising senior this very well may be my final summer break and I vow to take that very seriously. Create a bucketlist of all the things you want to do this summer. Have fun with your friends and family in the sun. Go on a day trip, road trip, beach trip, any kind of trip- just go. Summer break was invented to unwind from the stessful year you just had so kick back and relax this summer.

My summer bucketlist