Adjusting culture from Zimbabwe to America

Coming from my home in Zimbabwe and having travelled a fair amount around the world in my life, culture shock has become somewhat of a normal thing for me. Though even with all the stories of what to expect, I could not have quite prepared myself for what I would experience here in America.

Being from another country always attracts attention, especially if you have a different accent. With that, I have encountered a lot of expected questions such as, “where are you from?” which I would generally be expected to say Australia or England.

When I arrived in America, I almost immediately noticed the “everything’s bigger in Texas” ideology, with the highways having more lanes and the vehicles — especially the trucks — being much bigger than those in all the other countries I had visited. I had also noticed how fast food had a much bigger presence with regards to how available it is to its customers here in America than in other countries I had visited, such as Australia or Greece.

I’m definitely not complaining about that though, having gone on multiple late-night Taco Bell runs throughout my college career.

Having come from a country close to the equator, I was not prepared for the weather conditions here, only bringing some thin jackets and thinking that would be enough, but I was obviously proven wrong very quickly. The weather change was not completely unwanted, as I experienced my first snow here in Wichita Falls, and although it was not deep snow it was a great experience, given that I had only heard stories about snow and seen it on TV.

Alongside all of this, the hospitality I experienced in the four years I have been here has been unlike any other and I have had nothing, but great experiences here, making friends with so many people and actually meeting people that I would consider as close family. The person arrived in Dallas four years ago is not the same today, having grown accustomed to so many local traditions and the humorous culture that comes with it. Because of this, I am hopefully planning on staying and working in America for the next couple of years so as to keep enjoying the great experiences and encounters that I have already had throughout my college career and possibly newer, different ones. Graduating comes across as bitter-sweet, given that I have never been a big fan of school, but knowing that this is the closing of a whole part of my life and the beginning of a more serious one has me nostalgic for the fun times of previous years.

Marc Zographos is a marketing senior.