Reverse culture shock, a broken heart, and incomplete research--what else could go wrong?
July 14, 2012 7:11 PM Subscribe
How do I prepare and brace myself for readjustment to a place I hate after spending time abroad? Snowflake details plus poor-decision-driven extra concerns inside.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Long story short, I've spent the year in a fabulous place, in what is to me a familiar and beloved region of the world, and I've had a wonderful time here. This has probably been the first year of my life where I actually felt my life was worth living. Unfortunately, I will soon have to leave to complete my studies in my incredibly boring, stifling 'hometown', where my already-dysfunctional family, who I live with, is having even more issues than usual, and I'm dreading leaving to the extent that I've had a couple of anxiety attacks this week alone. I have no idea how to deal with this, except for planning what I realize are likely infeasible plans to return soon (flights here are prohibitively expensive).
To make matters worse, I got way too attached to what was supposed to be a fling, while at the same time I have a clingy boyfriend I need to properly dump as soon as I get home (but I've been too cowardly to do so). Due to a combination of distance/age and cultural difference/difference in attachment (I've fallen in love while I'm pretty sure he hasn't), there's a 99% chance this will end when I leave and I'm completely heartbroken and have no idea how to deal with this (first heartbreak, can you tell?).
I've also really messed up on the research I was supposed to be doing here and while my advisor seems to think I've done enough, I'm certain that I haven't and that he will hate me when I meet with him in the coming semester, and have no excuses beyond that I got a little out of control here and got too distracted by a guy I knew I had no future with to properly take care of my shit.
After typing all that out (sorry), I guess I have three broad, generic questions: how do I prepare to hate my life again and resign myself to living in a dull place for another year; how do I deal with heartbreak in general and attempt to move on with my life when I feel like nobody will ever want me again, and when I feel shitty about cheating; and how do I deal with being the worst advisee ever? I feel like I've grown up a ton and become more confident in general but have also screwed up enough for a lifetime in the past six months!