We are all different in one way or another and sometimes ‘fitting in’ is not easy for most people just like I did when I first joined the university.
There are different cultural groups, cultural practices and many languages in the world but the fact is we are different.
I was born in 1993 and I spent 19 years in the village and I never travel to the city not even once and the only language other than my ‘mother tongue’ that I knew was English because it was used as a language of instruction at school and I wasn’t so good at it.
After finishing my advanced level education, my sponsors decided that it was time for change of environment and I got enrolled at my current university which is in the city.
Life was not easy for me at university in the beginning because the students were from different parts of the world and there were many languages and different cultural groups.
Majority of the students were Bagandans from the city and central part of the country and I was the only exception coming straight from the village and with no tribe mates in my class.
I really tried hard to fit in but with no success since I was the only person from my district. Most students considered me weird and hated my way of doing things.
I hated so much being different considering the fact that my English accent wasn’t good. So I took most of my time working hard, practicing and trying to normalize my accent so that my classmates wouldn’t laugh at me when I’m discussing or presenting in class.
It wasn’t easy coping with the different norms and cultures of the people at campus. At first, I hated most of their cultural practices while comparing to my own culture.
Well, it took me the entire first semester to finally make some few friends with the ‘Bagandans’ and they started teaching me their language at least once a week. They got to know me and started appreciating my culture and I was able to understand and appreciate their culture as well.
Learning the language really helped me a lot because I was able to express myself well even in the market and sometimes with friends.
During my second semester, I was able to fit in perfectly and I even decided to make more friends and learn more foreign languages.
When I was a child, my dream was to become a lawyer and bring to justice the rebels who were causing the conflicts and inflicting pain on the people in my home town and also justice for the poor and ignorant people who knew nothing about the justice system of the country.
But after the experience I had and is still having with different people from all over the world and learning more foreign languages I realised that I don’t want to just become a lawyer but rather a lawyer at the international level working with various people and cultural groups having a wonderful experience.
All in all, from being a weird village girl with the hope of fitting in at the university, I was able to realised the importance of learning foreign languages and understanding other peoples culture.
And that it doesn’t matter how weird or different you may think you are we are all similar in some way.
(Image sources – Google.)