Re-Post: MK Transitions – Don’t Burp In Public

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We first published this post almost exactly 2 years ago HERE but it holds such gems from our MKs that we gathered from them at a retreat that I thought we should re-post this article for your benefit. Two years is too long for this to go un-shared – So here it is again:

*The following contributions were provided by MKs who attended GMI’s 2015 ANCHOR MK Retreat for college aged MKs who have made the transition from life overseas to life as an American College student. They wanted to share from their learned experiences with the next group of transitioning MK/TCKs.

  1. If you haven’t already read the “Third Culture Kids” book by Ruth E Van Reken & David C Pollock – It’ll help you understand yourself.
  2. Do not live in the past or for the future event (going home, visit with family) and live EVERY DAY in the present.
  3. It will be a challenge to ever feel fully at home in America, I know because I am still trying to figure out where “home” is. – Remember, home is HEAVEN.
  4. Don’t go through difficult times by yourself. It may seem like you have nobody to talk to, but you DO! People DO care about you!
  5. Take a deep breath and try not worry about life so much.
  6. Get involved in activities and make friends. Friends are awesome.
  7. Finding a church to attend will be hard without a car. Also, remember that no church will be perfect.
  8. Make sure you are in tune with your emotions and reflecting on your life.
  9. Know your strengths to use to your advantage and your weaknesses to improve.
  10. Spend as much time as you can with your family/parents before they leave (back to the field)
  11. Be careful not to over-commit to things in order to try and forget what you left behind. Find the balance between getting involved in a healthy way and over-committing.
  12. Enjoy the new friends and life you are entering into.
  13. Embrace the Change.
  14. Don’t dwell on the things you have lost in the place you love. Find the beauty of America and appreciate them for their own sake, not in comparison to things you miss about your old place. This openness will let you be receptive to the needs of the culture around you and the people around you. There are great people here. Don’t get caught up in bashing “Americans” or you’ll end trapped in memories of a “better” past. Don’t do it!
  15. Don’t wear shoes 😉
  16. Use hashtags. They’re cool.
  17. Don’t burp in public
  18. As you prepare to leave your host country, get excited for new things in the future.
  19. If you do not know what something is, don’t let being different keep you from asking.
  20. Be proud of where you’ve come from, but don’t let it keep you from adapting to a new place!
  21. Ask other people questions and take interest in their lives, instead of waiting for them to ask you.
  22. Let the fact that you are different, because you are, be an opportunity to praise and give glory to God.
  23. Invest in some good boots for the winters if you move to a cold climate in America.
  24. Leggings under jeans do wonders to keep you warm when it’s cold outside.
  25. Learn a new skill independent of your parents but aligned with your passions, to bless other people.
  26. Keep fresh on the 2nd language you know – never know how you might use it in the future.
  27. People might be shallow with you but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a friends that care about more than just the shallow stuff.
  28. Even though others may not understand your past life, they just don’t know what to be interested about. Regardless…seek to be interested not interesting.
  29. Picking your nose in public is not okay.
  30. Invest in a warm coat. SO WORTH IT!
  31. Great job, coming this far. I would like to share one observation with you. I understand that everyone has a different speed of making friends and that sometimes people are not prepared to open their closed group of friends to let you in. I want to encourage you to keep making the effort to break into groups of friends Often times the first people to incite you into friendships are those making poor decisions who are looking for someone to follow them into error. Every once in a while you find that gem of a person who will welcome you in, but don’t bank on it or wait for that. Don’t wait to be welcomed, but initiate friendships!

ANCHOR

Painted hands photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/339458890636061433/

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