How have you changed since being in Germany?

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The term change is something that scares many people, and most of the time is reflected with a negative connotation, and others is even confused with something that it is not. In my experience, and having lived in two different countries I can say that, I don’t have to change in order to fit in and live in another place, but what we have to do is to adaptate.

There is this misconception that in order to assimilate into another culture or country, we need to change, which is not entirely true. In my case, I do where I stand for, who I am, what I like, what I do, however, I also understand that my beliefs, my ideas, or certain actions of myself can be seen out of place, and for that I have to be mindful. For instance, once I moved here, to Germany, I notice that leaving food in your plate can be seen as wrong, and since I am picky with my food and I always eat little (for German standards of food in a plate), I try to take whatever I have left with me, so it doesn’t seem bad or that I am wasting food. Another example that I can think of is for instance, water usage and electricity.

Back in August when I first arrived in Germany I moved with a host family, I was told, since before that in Germany electricity and water bills tend to be really expensive. So, once I noticed that my host parents took shorter times in the shower, and had most of the time the light off, in certain areas of the house, I did the same, although by having long hair I have to take longer showers, but I did my best and kept it short. Also, although I am scared of the dark, I kept my lights off and got a lintern everytime I went to the restroom or the kitchen at night.

In conclusion, while I do have certain things that I am used to doing, I am clear that they can be inconvenient in different places. For that reason, I tend to be open minded and work in a way that can be beneficial to both parties, myself and the person that I may interact with. Although I have been for a short period of time in Germany, I know that I will face more cultural differences that I might have to face, and that I might have to adapt better in order to thrive in this country, and I am looking forward to it.