On Thanksgiving evening, we went to a friend’s house for a small gathering, where I talked to two interesting young Chinese girls.
The first one came to the States at age 12. She merged into American culture and has made an excellent adaptation — graduated from a KU master program, has an American boyfriend and got a job three years ago.
The second one came to the States at age 16. After over 5 years here, she told me she planned to go back to China after college graduation because she was not used to life here. When asked if she had already found a job in China, she said no. She insisted she was too old when she came to the US and would never be able to assimilate into American culture.
On the surface, it may seem the age makes the difference, the younger you are, the easy it is to adapt to the new environment. As a matter of fact, age is not the decisive factor.
What really makes the difference here is their personality. While the first one has an outgoing personality, the second one is just the opposite. She is introvert to the point of not talking to anyone at all when we first saw her. During the party, she spent most of the time either watching TV or on her laptop.
Life might be easier and happier for an introvert person if she stays within her familiar zone without having to venture out. Then again, are we missing something out in life if we never step out of our comfort zone?