Humans of Europe

We want to share the stories of Europe!

Here is Huiyu's story:

👋 My name is Huiyu. Before I turned 26, I had spent almost my entire life living with my family in Taiwan. Deep down, I had a desire to get out of my comfort zone to see the world and meet new people. However, when I finally had a chance to do my Erasmus in Europe, I noticed that I did not know how to be in a group. I wanted to belong, but I was always too afraid to get close to people.

💭 “Do you want to study in the library together? Are you up for a drink with us in the evening? Will you join us to do something tomorrow?” All these friendly invitations sounded very difficult to accept.
“Shall I go? What shall I say to them? What if they do not like my ideas?” I often carried these doubts before joining a gathering. But these worries would only make me say something out of context, feel disconnected and, finally, turn to silence. Both of us tried our best to communicate several times, but distance between us was like an invisible but unbreakable wall.

🇸🇪 After a period in France, I ended up in Sweden. Here, the cold weather outside gives people an excuse to be reserved in interpersonal relationships. After being cold and alone for a while, a longing for warmth pushed me to find people and interact with them. Everyone wants to avoid cold, so, when people gather, their collective intelligence finds ways to create more warmth. The focus has switched from “I” to “We.”

⛵ Now, I bear this new mindset in my interactions with people. I am not anxious to say my opinions out loud anymore. I have learned to use my sensitiveness to interpret circumstances and “play my role” accordingly. Sometimes I still feel afraid, but I manage to take it easy when I think of myself as a part of a collective entity. If everyone is on the same boat, sharing similar visions and interests, no one will be left behind.

Huiyu is one of the many who made Europe their home. Is your story any similar? Get in touch and become part of #HumansofEurope!