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Culture Shock: Finding Sources of Strength

Adjusting to a new culture can be draining and isolating, and that is especially true if you are adjusting to a campus where you are in the minority. 

Finding friends, allies, and groups who share aspects of your home culture can allow you to recharge and feel at home. These spaces allow you to celebrate your home culture, build confidence and energy, and feel safe.

Ask yourself: 

  • Where do you feel relaxed and like you can be yourself at home, on campus, or at work? 
  • What are the clubs, organizations, or spaces where you feel "at home?" 
  • Who makes you feel good about yourself and your cultural identities?

It's also important to remember that even if you feel isolated, you are still not alone. Ask your mentor or other trusted adults if they ever experienced culture shock when they went to college. And read what Tavaris Sanders has to say about his first year of college, and what helped him to (gradually) find his place at a mostly white and wealthy college.