Throughout your lifetime, your cultural identity may have varying levels of importance to you, and it may be something that you are questioning right now. It’s okay if this is the case. It’s normal to question who you are during life transitions, such as when you move into adulthood and begin life at university. It is a question people ask when they reflect on their identity and are searching for a sense of where they fit into the world.
What to do
Your evolving nature
Questioning who you are comes from self-reflecting on how your views and identity fit into the world around you and encompass gender, sexuality, culture, race, politics and even your socio-economic situation.
Not everyone fits into a neat box, there are often shades of grey around the edges. And how you identify yourself now may be different in years to come.
Your identity should be seen as an ongoing process rather than a static snapshot. Embrace a flowing sense of self where you are continually self-reflecting on who you are at the current stage of your life. Where you focus your attention, personality and behaviour determines where you go in life.
We are all members of various cultural groups, and our cultural identities develop based on the influence of these links. Like most of things that make you who you are, the development of your cultural identity is an ongoing process. As you are exposed to different sets of beliefs and values, you may adopt other cultural beliefs that were not part of your original makeup. This can be especially likely as you make major transitions in life from study to work or move to a new country.
Reflecting on who you are is a positive thing to do as it gives you the opportunity to reach out and explore many new things. This can be a time where you can engage with different groups such as clubs and societies through Deakin or outside of university life to find your new ‘tribe’.
At Deakin you can make an appointment with the Deakin's Counselling service.
13 YARN (13 92 76) provide a shame-free space to speak with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support workers.