The world today is an extremely diverse place which can be a wonderful learning experience. It can also be somewhat scary and challenging. This applies to all sides of the culture fence. The other people that individuals encounter in college can be from anywhere in the world. It should be expected that this will present a large number of obvious differences. The truth is that other students do not have to be natives of other countries to be different. There is great diversity within this country, within states, and even on a city level.
It is important to keep an open mind throughout life. Fear is both an inhibiting and limiting emotion which can prevent individuals from seizing many wonderful opportunities. University and college housing enables students to learn about other cultures as well as strangers from just up the road. There are a couple ways to not only learn about roommates and fellow students from different walks of life, but make new friends.
Pot Luck Social
One way to get to know other people is through the foods that they eat. Diet and culture are closely related. It could be very exciting to hold a pot luck social dinner. Invite many individuals from many different cultures and lifestyles. Ask them to bring a dessert grandma used to make or a favorite side dish from their childhood hometown. Most recipes have some sort of story, legend, or symbolism attached to them. This offers a chance to better understand other cultures, make new friends, and try delicious foods.
Cultured Themed Parties
One of the biggest elements of college life is socialization which generally means both hosting and going to parties. It could be a lot of fun to host culturally themed parties. Give roommates or even friends a chance to help host a party based upon their culture. Make sure everything reflects influences form that culture. This includes costumes or outfits, party decorations and foods. This is another wonderful leaning opportunity. There is almost always a deeply rooted reason that cultures tend to add certain party decorations. A couple of examples are pinatas in Mexico and long life noodles in China for Birthday celebrations.
It is important to respect and at least try to understand others beliefs. One fun way to accomplish this is to ask about certain types of celebrations. For example, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Those of Jewish decent often celebrate Hanukkah, while many people with African heritages celebrate Kwanzaa. During the month of October there are many exciting celebrations that take place instead of Halloween. Not one of these is less significant than the other and all of them involve rich and diverse histories.
If a household consists of many heritages, perhaps the apartment Ann Arbor can reflect a little of each. There will be no limit of beautiful decorations to hang or delicious foods to make. The internet is a wonderful research tool to learn about these celebrations as well as the symbolism and foods that surround them. The most important aspects of resolving college culture clashes is respect and understanding.