I will find a crowd and blend in for a minute

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The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely

A second finding is that adult TCKs are also somewhat out of synch in aspects of their lives outside of education. Throughout their lifetimes there are subtle differences between them and the American generation that came into adulthood in the same historical period. Not being like their peers is usually of great import (and sometimes extremely painful) in the late teens and twenties, but it is of lessening centrality with increasing age.

How long does it take for TCKs to become adjusted to American life? The majority of our adult TCKs, including those over 65, report mild to severe difficulties with what has been called “re-entry problems” or “reverse culture shock.”

This area is rich in literature and a number of reorientation programs have been established by overseas schools, the organizations which sponsor the parents abroad, and international centers of colleges and universities. The programs help the young people through the transition to living in the U.S.

The answer to the question of how long it takes them to adjust to American life is: they never adjust. They adapt, they find niches, they take risks, they fail and pick themselves up again. They succeed in jobs they have created to fit their particular talents, they locate friends with whom they can share some of their interests, but they resist being encapsulated. Their camouflaged exteriors and understated ways of presenting themselves hide the rich inner lives, remarkable talents, and often strongly held contradictory opinions on the world at large and the world at hand.

[TCKWorld / Get Lonely.]

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