Thursday, January 16, 2014

days > 150 -- understanding

piece of advice for future exchange students #19:
open your eyes to the world around you,
the culture around you,
the people around you.

so lately i've been realizing just how much my worldview has expanded in the past 5 months.

you see, when i left i thought i had a pretty good window on the world. i challenged my own beliefs and i asked questions and i pushed myself to find out more. but what i didn't quite realize was just HOW small my world really was. 

being on my own here has caused me to rethink the things that i was taught about groups of people, and to realize that stereotypes do have a beginning, and lots of people fit them -- but stereotypes are not the same as labels. stereotypes are only supposed to be a base, a sort of "general idea" of what a person is like. but labels are like sorting individuals into a box and only picking the boxes you like.

the thing is,
people aren't boxes.

things i've done in the past 10ish days:

  • moved host families! now I live in Bottmingen.
  • i also managed to pack my entire life into several suitcases and fit them all into the back of my host family's car. i am very proud of myself, considering that i've accumulated an astonishing amount of stuff in the past 5 months. i am trying not to think about packing to go home...
  • i miss my old family.
  • the outbound candidates from my sponsoring district (5100) had their first orientation! while this doesn't count as "things i've done" exaactlyyy, i have to say that this brought back memories galore. i can't believe that only a year ago, my country choices were undecided and i didn't even know if i would get to go on exchange. how crazy is life?
  • started school. yay?
  • celebrated new year's in Europapark with my first host family!! it was wonderful.
  • also I discovered that my tolerance for highspeed, highscarelevel rides is a lot better than I expected. Which means that my next destination when I get home is Disneyland. anyone want to come? ;)

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