Reincorporation in the Rites of Passage theory involves how one re-establishes themselves back into their home community after their whole study abroad experience. Every student has a different experience re-incorporating back into their home community. Students may notice their personal growth abroad and some students may not notice it at all. In my experience, I have not really fully adjusted with my re-incorporation back to home because I am not really home. I am in Ghana with my dad that I haven’t seen in a few years, so I am going through the rites of passage without really finishing it the first time in London. I’m not really home, so I can not really incorporate myself into my home community. My friends are constantly asking me when I’m coming back and I will be able to see them for another six weeks. Being with my dad has been amazing and he’s always asking what I did abroad. It’s not the same though, I have been waiting to tell all my friends the crazy experiences I’ve had. I can’t tell my dad when I got my nose pierced and the piercing fell out the next day in my sleep. The only good thing is that I have more stories to tell about my experiences in Ghana in addition to my experiences abroad. It does bring me joy when I show my family members the pictures of the places that I’ve been to. Their faces light because they have never seen monuments like the Colosseum or Big Ben and for them to know someone who has been there makes them proud.
Talking to my friends about what has happened at home has been bittersweet. I’m sad that I have not been with my friends and family and missed all these events that they have told me about. In the end, I am glad that I’m not home. There’s certain situations that have taken place that I know that If I was there, I would have not approach the situation with the growth that I have obtained now. Slimbach states, “ Having struggled to overcome so many “dragons”, both within and without, you now look at yourself and your natal culture differently” (205) Even though I have yet to see them, They can sense the change in me by the way I talk and my reactions to certain things that they tell me. In Ghana, it’s weird that I fully adjusted to the area even though I am going through the Rites of Passage process again.
I decided to share my reincorporation letter with my dad. My dad always related my experience to his experience to when he first came to the states. In my letter, I talk about the experiences that I have had. The good and the bad. I told him why I haven’t really been excited to go out since I’ve been in Ghana because I feel like I have traveled so much that I am tired. I want to just sit, relax,and take in everything that I have been through. He became understanding after a while and stopped bothering me for a while about going out.
Before I left, I was pretty optimistic I finished last spring semester earning a spot on the Dean’s List and had an amazing semester being an Orientation Leader. Even though I started the semester with a good outlook, I still found myself at a crossroads because junior year is the year where you figure out what you want to do in life. I currently still do not know what I want to do in life. I am still figuring out myself. However, since coming back from London, I have a better sense of myself and the path I want to be on. I know what traits I have to let go, tone down,fix, and or strengthen. One habit/trait that I think that has changed since my experience and I would like to continue change is my confidence. Before leaving, I was never really confident in myself or my decisions. And, that is always because I always chose to be the “wallflower”. My overall experience has changed that about me. I am more outgoing now, and I try my best to stand out more. I make it my goal that every day speak up and talk to others more. I think it will help in the long run.
The quote I choose to end this journey off is with “Life is a roller coaster, scream or enjoy the ride”. London has been amazing, but it had its ups and downs. I have cried and laughed there. I’ve made friends and met people I consider family now. I have completed and lived a dream/goal that I’ve had for so long and I wouldn’t want it any other way.