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TCK: Hard Knock Life

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RIMG0052As the lyrics of one of Jay-Z’s many famous song says “It’s a hard knock life for us,”  living the nomadic life as a TCK (Third Culture Kid) is “a hard knock life for us.” Some people look at TCKs with jealousy because of all the cool places that they lived in, but in reality there are a lot of unknown difficulties in a TCK’s life.

According to Ruth Van Reken, a professional in teaching the psychological impact of an internationally mobile childhood, there are many layers of loss that run deep inside a TCK. The layers of loss can be “Friends, community, pets. Family, toys, language. Weather, food, culture. Loss of identity. Loss of a place of comfort, stability, a safe and predictable world. Home.”

It’s like trying to find another quiet place to study in the library because someone else has taken your spot, or there’s a loud group study going on around your spot.

It’s true, living the nomadic life is great. Who wouldn’t want to live in a tropical country one day and move to a four seasoned country next day? But think about constantly readjusting to a new environment whenever you just started feeling like you’re at home. It’s like trying to find another quiet place to study in the library because someone else has taken your spot, or there’s a loud group study going on around your spot.

Like it was said earlier “it’s a hard knock life for us.”

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4 comments

  1. I really like this article Won Suh! Honestly I did not travel from country to country but I know what its like being in a new place and I feel like you conveyed this really well!

  2. I love how short and sweet this article is.  It helps me gain a small understanding of what life is like for a TCK.  Great job.

  3. Dealing with loss can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what it is you are missing! Hopefully this will help anyone looking for that missing piece. 

  4. Well illustrated, there are many layers to a TCK identity. some of them are loss and many of them are gain and excitement, but all of the excitement does not in any way eclipse the losses when everywhere and everyone is a part of your home.

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