Fitting in is a way of compromising who you are, but life is all about compromising, isn’t it? The real question is how much of yourself are you willing to compromise?
Fitting in and feeling like you belong are completely different things. While fitting in might feel like an easier thing to do, question yourself as it comes at a price of questioning your authentic self. Does it challenge you to do new things and grow as a person you would like to become? Getting used to an unfamiliar environment might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but no matter how hard you try to escape from it, you are a part of a larger society where sooner or later you might want to feel like you belong. 

Millions of students hoping to get a good college degree, choose to pursue their education abroad. That all sounds brimmingly exciting, well at least at the beginning. They later realize that there is more to the story loneliness, hardships and frequent home sickness. Moving into a new society is the first phase toward facing the real world, realizing that not everything in life is Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice. A lot of changes come along with trying to adjust in a new environment. Here are some tips that might come to your rescue.

It’s all about patience: Everyone has to struggle at some point in their life, but having to struggle away from home without the support of your friends and family is an agonizing situation to be in. Keep this mind: “Expect the worst but have enough faith in yourself to make the best out of it.” You’ll meet people and not everyone is going to be nice to you, But have patience, don’t let people’s harsh words get in your way. How people behave with you is a reflection of their character, how you react is yours.

Do your homework: You may not realize it but getting ahead of yourself and learning a few things about the new culture that you are about to get into might work in your favor. Never hesitate to learn a general sense of the society, their laws, language, culture and local customs and traditions that could help you in starting conversations and making connections.

Don’t expect too much too soon: No matter how much of an extrovert you might be, communicating with people from a different society is not as easy as it may seem. Sometimes, the effort that you show might not be reciprocated. You might get stepped upon or even let down, but consider these as a part of your journey, have patience and understand that with time you will discover new things and grow as a person. 

Empathy is important: Understanding other people’s opinions and the situations that made them who they are and why they behave the way they do is crucial if you want to fit in. Everyone is unique, feelings are never the same with anyone. Have respect for the feeling that what hurts you less might hurt someone more, try to reciprocate this feeling and it’ll guide you to analyze things clearly without being offended.

Never compare yourself: If you go on to comparing your life with everyone you meet, you’ll never fit in. Try to be content about who you are, what you have been achieving and what more life has to offer to you.  Happiness is a perception. Seeing good in others will make you mindful of other people’s existence and their different perceptions and guide you toward greater fulfillment. 

Help others fit in: Be kind, reach out to people and push them to feel confident about themselves. When it is no longer about you, that is when you truly fit in. The feeling of belonging comes from achieving contentment by unapologetically being who you are around people who value your perceptions and make you feel confident.