My Way Home

21.05.2019
Armenian by Birth
A teenager Integrating in Armenia: Do’s & Don’ts
A teenager Integrating in Armenia: Do’s & Don’ts
 
As a teenager, we face a lot of different issues in many aspects of life. Our teen years are years of self discovery and the added weight of living in a new place and figuring out the social and cultural etiquettes can be challenging. Well, I’ve been there and done that, so I wanted to share some lessons that I learned along the way.
 
 

Lesson 1.

 

Be open to new challenges, be open to new changes

 
It took me a whole year to accept the fact that Armenia was going to be my “home” for the next couple of years. One of the biggest mistakes I made was closing myself to the idea of creating a new life and making new connections. I think a lot of that came from not wanting to let go of the past. It is usually hard to adapt and overcome the differences in mentality and the language barrier. I was more afraid of being disappointed than being alone. I held on to the life that I had built and instead of focusing on meeting new people, I stayed at home and did nothing. I first moved to lebanon and me being the dramatic 11 year old that I was, I felt like my world ended when I moved to Armenia.

But I can say that even when I thought that it would never feel like home, I was proven wrong. After almost 7 years of living in Armenia, I realized that this was a blessing, even though at first it came with a lot of pain. Now I can’t imagine feeling at home anywhere else in the world. 

So what I would say is, take your time, it’s a difficult process but we are all strong enough to make our way through and learn how to overcome and create a safe bubble for ourselves anywhere we are placed.
 
 

Lesson 2.

 

Integrate

 
It’s crucial to make an effort to learn eastern armenian and be able to communicate. This will pay off, even if it seems like a hassle at first. You will make so many friends who will make this process easier for you. 
I know many people who refused to learn the dialect and because of that they have been sheltered from the real culture and opportunities that Armenia holds. It will help a lot in school and also help with future jobs and such.
 
 

Lesson 3

 

Network

 
Get out of the house. Well captain obvious, simple right? By going out and participating in different events and even volunteering (You can find a list I made on that in my previous blog). In my case, I was a student at TUMO. Besides the fact that it gave me a lot, it also helped me create a stable group of friends that helped me adapt to the lifestyle of Armenia.
 
 

Lesson 4

 

‘’Know your audience’’ aka Be Mindful

 
So, the mindset difference. Observe and calculate before you act, that will help you out. 

Some things that might be acceptable for you won’t be for others and that’s ok. It’s good to agree to disagree with others. Respect is a good quality to have anywhere in the world. It may be considered ok for you to accept things easier than people here, depends on where you were raised and I think finding people who share your mindset is key. 

Don’t put yourself in friendships with people that don’t have your mindset, it is better to wait a while and find the right people for you.

Easier said than done, huh? I feel you, dude! 

This time of our lives is annoying as it is even without the environment change on top. But once you pass through the initial shock of it all (dramatic, I know), everything becomes easier.

And Good Luck! I promise, the challenges will be overcome and you will adapt to the lifestyle with just a little positivity!
 
 
Gagach Derkhorenian
Banner photo: COAF 

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