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Cultural Adjustments

When I first moved to America everyone I told about living overseas said, "Oh my God! You lived in France? You're so lucky!" Every single time I hear that, I get really bitter because I don't think I'm lucky. Even though I loved living overseas and I really liked my friends, I don't think that I would really be upset about living in one place my entire life. My parents always tell me that I should be really thankful that I got to experience all the cultures and different languages--that I'll have a real benefit in experiences to come where I have to fit in. And I know that I will. But when kids my own age who never lived in a place where they knew no one come up to me and tell me just how lucky I am, I can feel every vindictive bone in my body wanting to break. Sure, after a month, life in France was great, but the first few weeks were horrible. Not knowing anyone there and not knowing the language was the worst thing in my life. I don't think I adapted until 4 months into our stay. I remember how my brother used to come home from school and cry for hours. Also, people are constantly moving, even if you aren't.

Before e-mail it was hard to stay in touch with your friends if you weren't good at corresponding by mail. You always felt like you were forgetting them. And moving and packing all your stuff is a hassle, especially if you have to move from a huge apartment to a tiny one and have to get rid of your things. Not only that, but every time you move you have to learn new things like new music, new rules, new transportation systems, new schools. It's hard enough moving around, but you also have to move from a very understanding overseas lifestyle to a place where no one understands moving, especially meeting people who have known each other since childhood. Life in the Foreign Service is fulfilling, but there are bad parts as well. Maybe one day I'll feel lucky for all my travels,  but right now I'm just trying to get through an American high school.


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