I thought i believed and to decide for myself whether

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I “thought” I believed, and to decide for myself whether those things truly were my own thoughts, my family’s thoughts, or my friend’s. As powerful as the influence of family and friends can be, we can’t underestimate the importance of place. Growing up in Africa, I had a particular view of things. My influences were very much tied to where I was from. Africa was what grounded me (and my friends and family for that matter) and it was, in essence, my reality. However, as I got older, I was first introduced to other cultures and other values through media— television, magazines, and movies. These things represented something outside of what I was accustomed to and allowed me to have a slightly different perspective on things. I must say that at first, my own sense of place probably had more impact on how I viewed media, but eventually the media began to impact the way I viewed myself and the customs and traditions of my culture. What even had larger impact on me was when I had the opportunity to leave Africa and experience the diversity of Europe. There were many things similar, but Europe had a more diverse population and a vastly different historical perspective on the
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Shaping My Self world. Experiencing another culture firsthand was the ultimate test of my own beliefs as an individual. There are so many different kinds of people in Europe, who believe so many different things that it was more than just exposure to a single outside culture. My experiences in Europe influenced me by showing how my own beliefs and the views of myself can fit in with others and different beliefs. It helped me, along with everything else, to shape myself.
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