One Week Left in Rome!

Allison Derrick headshot
Allison Derrick
May 3, 2024

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that I am only one week away from boarding my flight back to Boston to return home. It’s hard to find the words to describe the passage of time here; it’s as if I’ve lived 5 years of life, but also as if I arrived a week ago. I’m now done with four finals, and have two to go. I am aware that seven days from now, I will wake up in my own bedroom in Maine about 4,000 miles away from the place I’ve called home since January. My dog will run into my room and I’ll see my backyard out of my window, and life will be surreal and normal again. My roommates with whom I have spent every day laughing, watching TV, wandering around Rome and sharing trips with will be waking up in their own hometowns, now states away instead of down the hall. I honestly can’t picture a day without them right now. But at the same time, I will be back with my whole family and my beloved friends from home, and that relief of seeing them again is going to be immeasurable. 


In my last few weeks in Rome, I’ve been checking items off my bucket list every few days. I finally saw a soccer game at Stadio Olimpico, we went into the Colosseum for a tour, I saw the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, and I went for a run along the bike trail by the river near us. We’ve been revisiting our favorite places in our neighborhood, like our local pub. I have been absolutely loving getting the most out of the last few weeks and making sure to pack in as much as possible. 


Through all of my time reflecting in the past few weeks, as I walk through Rome on the way to and from class, I realized that for everything I will miss in Rome, I have something to look forward to when returning home. I’m in a unique and fortunate place where saying a hard goodbye to my Rome life will lead me to many other things I’m looking forward to. I have a summer in beautiful Maine waiting for me, an exciting job in California for the month of July, and an upcoming senior year at Lafayette College. There are so many things to look forward to that I am trying to keep that in sight as I begin to imagine tearing myself out of my routines and attachment to Rome that I’ve developed here. I don’t think I can even predict what it will feel like to leave my apartment for the last time, to cram our suitcases into the tiny elevator, piling in like we always do, and watch our quiet neighborhood become further and further away as our taxi heads in the direction of Fiumicino Airport.  


To process all of my emotions about my program wrapping up, I have been talking with my roommates and other friends who are abroad. Sometimes we’ll talk about one thing we’re excited for at home and one thing we’re going to miss from Rome, to try to balance out our minds for the day we leave. There are plenty of specific things we come up with that we are looking forward to in America: Caesar salads, long drives in the car, going for a run on our favorite roads, our houses, Mexican food, Target, sleeping in, bagel sandwiches. For me, one thing I cannot wait to be back in is the nature in Maine. Something I’ve adjusted to in Rome is the busy city, the crowds and all the buildings, but I remember sometimes how much I miss the trees and the water and the ocean in my town. 


It will be a sort of tradeoff between two wonderful places. I will leave the busy city for my beloved slow-paced life in Maine, where traffic doesn’t really exist, the streets are nearly silent at nighttime, nature is all around me, and I can catch my breath. After the most packed semester of my life, I still have a ways to go when it comes to truly processing my feelings about returning to Maine. But in the meantime, I will continue to both look forward and look back, while enjoying the present moment in what will forever be another home to me: Rome. 

View of the river Tiber in Rome

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Allison Derrick

Hi, I'm Allison! I’m from Maine and a big fan of iced chai lattes, taking pictures with my 2011 digital camera, some good throwback music, and falling asleep on the beach. I'm in search of finding the very best pasta and gelato in Italy, so join me!

2024 Spring
Home University:
Lafayette College
Environmental Studies
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