College students, in particular, often encounter challenges in acclimating to campus life. If you happen to be a college student who also happens to be an immigrant, your challenges might be doubly challenging to overcome. When emigrating to the U.S. from another country of origin, people often transition through various stages of adjustment. Understanding these phases can help you know what to expect.
On the other hand, if you don't understand the types of issues that can impede your ability to adapt to a new lifestyle, any number of complications may arise, even legal ones. If that happens, it's best to try to avoid panic and to know ahead of time how to tap into local resources for support.
Is culture shock real?
When you are first laying down the groundwork for life in a place that is new to you, you might feel a bit nervous or afraid. It's understandable, especially if you are still struggling with a significant language barrier. The ideas on the following list may help you keep stress levels to a minimum as you acclimate to life in Colorado:
- You might master English easier by using it often. Reading, writing and conversing with others in English can help you feel more comfortable in your surroundings and may help prepare you for a citizenship test, if that's part of you ultimate goals.
- Many immigrants go through a hostility stage when they are getting used to life in the U.S. If you feel upset or angry, it's okay to reach out for support.
- The customs in the U.S. may be quite different from those in your country of origin. For instance, Americans place a lot of emphasis on personal hygiene. They do not usually wear a lot of cologne, however.
- As your acclimation process progresses, you may enter the humor phase. This is when you're able to laugh at your own mistakes. This is a healthy sign that you are on way to feeling comfortable in your surroundings.
If a legal issue puts a damper on your new lifestyle
Whether you've been here for a week or 10 years, you can probably relate to other immigrants who say they always feel like they're waiting for the other shoe to drop. If a problem surfaces regarding your legal status, your work visa or even, your marriage, the sooner you reach out for advocacy support, the more likely you'll be able to rectify the situation.