Do you know that feeling, when you are trying to fit in a group? This group can be one you just got into, new university, new workplace, or, of course, your exchange semester.
For an honest, loud and unusual person like me, this situation used to be a challenging one. Throughout the years I have learned how to deal with it. It is simple: I am just being how I would be with people who I feel the most comfortable with. If this is not for the liking of others, then they are not going to be my new best friends. I must admit, I was not like this when I moved to the Netherlands. I wanted to be approved by others, I wanted them to like me more than I appreciated and respected myself as how I was. One could easily understand this, as the most basic human need is intimacy (not only sexual), and we crave for it so much we would give up even our true self to get it.
Back to where I started. Imagine the situation: You have a few groups of friends (representing the various environment you are always surrounded by), with different interests and motivation. One group likes to play football and eating hummus with carrots, but they think collecting flowers on the field is something you must avoid. The other group believes that eating hummus with carrot is disgusting and you better dip your carrots into guacamole. After going through this yummy example, I would like to tell my point: your belief of avoiding fields with flowers is coming from your environment, just as your doubt of where to dip your carrots. When you actually have no deeper desire than to collect dandelions, you are stopping yourself from doing it, because of those (sub)conscious feelings of what is right and wrong.
Recently an interesting question came up: “What attributes do I have personally, which are not coming from my environment”. This might sound vague or unclear, but from the moment you were born, everything has been affecting you. And the answer to this question is that none of the characteristics is you. Think about all the roles you are playing: child, friend, student, teammate, etc. These are all you. And yet none is truly.
Then you can ask yourself, who are you really?
Just remember. You have all the answers.