I can’t believe it is actually coming to an end. A week from today I will already be back in America experiencing an entirely different type of culture shock. The only words I have to describe this? It’s bittersweet.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
I’ve been thinking about this quote all week. I am trying not to get too upset at the thought of leaving. This week has been filled with waves of contradicting emotions; the excitement of going home and being with friends and family, the dread of having to say goodbye to Rome and all that comes with it, and to top it off, the stress of finals week.
It’s upsetting to know that my days in the eternal city are numbered. I feel like I have a special connection with this city. A part of me belongs to it now. I learned so much from being here. Not only about the Italian culture and my origins, but also about myself and my morals. I have made this place my home. I have experienced new and amazing things. I found a part of myself here, a part of me that I don’t want to lose. Living in Rome filled me with a thirst for knowledge and adventure. It forced me to push myself past the invisible boundaries I had set for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to be going home to my friends and family… and chipotle, target, and my dog. But no burrito bowl with tofu and quac l will ever compare to the way living in Rome made me feel.
They say studying abroad will change your life, and they are right. I can easily say that studying abroad was the best thing I ever did for myself.
Traveling makes you feel small and unimportant, and that’s a beautiful thing. It pulls you out of your head and into the real world. It shoves life right in your face. It makes you nervous and uncomfortable, but most importantly it makes you stronger. Traveling pushes you to do, say, and try new things. You will meet all different types of people, from all different types of places. Not only does it teach you more about the world around you, but it helps you discover who you really are.
To all the people who make fun of study abroad students because we can’t shut up about how amazing it was, that’s because all we want to do is share our journey with you. We changed out here, we learned, we grew, and we found ourselves, and we want that for you too.
If you are thinking about studying abroad, do it. If you are a homebody, do it. If you are afraid of flying, do it. If you are afraid of being alone, do it. There will never be a time in your life where you will have the freedom to travel the world like this. There is no reason not to get up and head over to the study abroad office and pick a new home for 4 months. So get up and go!