Having lived abroad twice now, culture shock is a dear old friend of mine, one with whom I’ve been acquainted with and with whom I’ve spent a decent amount of time. I’ve seen both sides of this friend: the shock of living in a new country and the shock of having that country change you, leaving you not understanding your own country. I understand what to expect: the emotions, the fears, the excitement, the confusion. I know when to expect it. Both times that I lived in France, culture shock started creeping up on me about 2 weeks to a month into my experience. I am familiar with how culture shock affects me: never wanting to leave my room, crying myself to sleep, feeling alone, feeling like my head is going to explode with all the new information, feeling lost, and wanting to go back and forget it immediately, but I also know how to combat culture shock: forcing myself to look at the positives of my situation, writing about my experiences, forcing myself to go out and meet people and to try new things. I feel as though I am well versed in how my dear friend culture shock likes to operate.
However, what I did not expect was to be experiencing it in my own country and own culture.