Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reflections I suppose are in order

So my year is almost done. I'm four days away from my one month mark, and then I'll be flying back to my other home... It's a weird feeling I must say. You start a life for yourself, and then all of the sudden you are forced to leave...

My english vocabulary and grammar has severely diminished, and I'll tell you how I know that. My friend Kathyrn is visiting right now. She is an exchange student with AFS ( hence how I met her) but she is in Norway. She came for the weekend to visit. And talking to each other is just the funniest thing. We catch each other's mistakes, because sometimes they are just so bad. In Dutch the sentence structure is completely opposite of English, so it just doesn't make any sense when your brain thinks in Dutch. Forgetting words is always funny too. If someone else was to say it you'd understand, but you can only think of the word in your foreign language... haha

But I'm leaving. and thats hard to come to terms with. Its the same feeling as before I left. I don't believe that I'm actually going to have to get all of this STUFF out of what has become my house, and leave an empty room behind, and a family that I've grown to love very deeply. I want to come back. Five years. I'm back, that's what I want now. I love the people, the culture and the ways of life here. I will miss my bike ride to and from school, riding on the back of boys bikes, or now having girls also on the back of mine. Going out on the weekends. People complementing you on your Dutch after they find out you're not in University, you're just a foreigner learning the language and culture. Repeating the same story to answer a question a million times and knowing how to say it perfectly, grammar and everything. That feeling of, the look on someone's face after hearing you've learned Dutch, one of the most difficult languages in the world to master, after only ten months. Which for some strange reason the internet seems to think it's not a difficult language at all, but that's just not true at all. It is not even close to English grammar wise or spelling wise. Maybe since there are no added letters it's not considered difficult but I beg to differ. But anyways I did it. I gave a project for 40 minutes or so, with two other girls from my class last thursday. Completely in Dutch. The teacher said it was good, and so did all of the kids in class, even though I was so nervous. But they understood my dutch, no problem at all. Learn Dutch, goal completed.

But now I'm going to have to go through reverse culture shock... that sounds like a picnic, because culture shock is not as fun as it's made out to be. I read a blog recently called Can you Survive Reverse Culture Shock? And now I am going to tell you about this blog and what it said in reverse form, by asking you: Will you Help me Survive Reverse Culture Shock?!

1. Will you care about my travels?
Until you ask me, I will keep my travels and life changing experiences to my self. Because I will be surprised to see that many people will not show the slightest interest in what I have just done, or don't want to hear about it.

2. How will you stop normality from hitting hard?
Apparently after I've done all of the things I've missed, and gone to all of the places I wanted to eat in America, I will be upset at how normal life seems to be. I might be bored, and uninterested in every day life. And more importantly, I will feel how tedious it will be to hear every day conversations in English again. Because hearing people discuss the weather or things is much more interesting in a foreign language.

3. Will you understand me?
Apparently it is very common for people like me to come back with new open-mindedness, interest in other cultures and new opinions. Maybe you will fail to share my interests and that might leave you feeling confused or maybe just not care at all.

4. Will you be jealous?
This one is self explanatory, although I will try not to talk about this year abroad constantly, it could very well happen and that could lead to some jealousy issues.

5. How will you help me not feel stuck in my life?
The biggest problem is apparently that one can feel stuck, especially in Locust Grove, and can make one feel very isolated and alone.

So, will you help me survive reverse culture shock?

I wrote that mostly as a joke, because I found the article just so interesting. It's not me trying to brag or anything like that, but that's how the author wrote the article, I just wrote it in a different way but the same information. I don't know how I will feel when I go home. I know I will be very very busy, college applications, trying to make money as well... haha So I guess we will find out. Nothing to do but wait.... I am really sad to leave though... it's slowly starting to hit me that I do have to leave soon... very soon. And I don't like the thought of that. :(


  1. Coming home from a long-term trip abroad can be difficult since you've grown so much as a person. To help with your transition, check out a digital magazine that I recently launched called Native Foreigner ( I went through the same mixed emotions as most people and wanted to provide other travelers such as yourself with a resource to share their experiences with a community that cares. You can even submit an article or photos to share, if you're interested.

    Enjoy the rest of your time abroad and safe travels!


  2. You gave a presentation in Dutch -- that is amazing and wonderful and impressive and just everything! I also really enjoyed reading this response to that article, since I had just recently read it and talked it through with you and Roosa. And finishing that English class credit work will keep you busy :)

    1. Thanks!! But yes I will be quite busy when I go home!!