After resettling in Minnesota the reverse culture shock, shock from living as an American again, has hit me and made me think. While I have loved being home with my cats to cuddle, sleeping in my own bed and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, it does feel a bit strange to be home again.
The coming home part of studying abroad is not something anyone ever really talks about. Yes, you’re asked a million times how being abroad was and the adventures you partook in, but no one asks about the weirdness of being home again. It’s not something dwelled upon, as its seen as almost regular, basic life.
I spent the last four months trying to document each moment including taking photos and trying all the varieties of coffee in the area, but that feeling of enclosing time is no longer an issue. I am lucky to be spending my summer in Minnesota, where I’m from. In a way, my reintegration seems so strange because of the non-encroaching time frame. On another level, its just the interesting factors of my life here and the different importance placed on things I once thought were normal across the globe, or in those qualified as developed areas of the world.
As I try to get over this reverse culture shock, its also led me to realize how maybe such shock isn’t necessarily from traveling in Europe for a semester. A friend explained to me, as I realized how bored and un-purposeful my schedule seems ( I don’t start working until next week) that its a perspective thing. This feeling of change isn’t just a study abroad feeling, but its actually a growing up thing. It’s not necessarily possible to quantify or classify the change amounted each time you go into the world, and then back home. It’s life.