The Clash of Cultures.

As I’ve been mentioning often in my past blogs, I’m from South Korea. I do speak a perfect English, and I have lived in the U.S as well as England for some time, so naturally, I thought nothing should be different than back home. However, reality, as it always has and always will, has got the best of me.

The first day I came to this college, I was excited, pondering in my own trap of finding people exactly like those friends I had back home. However, on the very first day, I had to attend several seminars about sex-related issues, gender issues, and race issues.

That was shocking. To have so much personal boundaries and linguistic boundaries to deal with was simply overwhelming! I freaked out on the very first day of school and started distancing myself from everyone in this campus.

After a while it got better, and I was able to blend in with my collegues here at Pomona College. Nevertheless, I still cannot feel comfortable in situations where boys and girls start having casual conversations about sexual intercourse. I think such emotions will never go away for good, which seems grieves me so much, since the kind of music I want to do is only possible here in the U.S or in England.

Cultural shock was definitely there. Finally after two semesters of coping with it I have partially gotten over it and at the same time realized a sad truth. I will never be one of the Americans or as far as it goes Westerner. I will never be known as “one of us” here in U.S.

One response to “The Clash of Cultures.

  1. i appreciate the honesty of your post.

    we want international students here so that we have many different heritages living together. i don’t think that you should despair if you cannot easily accept pomona college’s norms and social expectations, because your perspective is valuable in that its not the same as ours. culture shock is unpleasant, but remember that we are all learning from what we individually bring to the table. personally, i have never experienced such an open dialogue about sexuality and race either, so you may not be alone.

    the thing is, we all come from different places, both at pomona college and in America in general. there is no singular “us” that you can belong to. you can use “us” to refer to middle class white people, or you can be referring to americans born chinese whichever of the numerous groups in the US.

    just as the preteen despairs about the rest of his life, i would say that you should give it time. adjusting to culture takes time. this year was overwhelming in multiple ways, and perhaps next year you will emotionally have a little less on your plate. just a thought. anyway, thanks for sharing your feelings.