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Life and Positive Thinking Abroad

March 28, 2019

Yesterday it was raining. Boo! For the last week or so, the weather in Rome has been superb. Days filled with sunshine and pretty skies. Needless to say, when I saw the rain I was bummed. On top of that, I had a presentation and a ton of work to do. Double Boo! Yet, as I walked home, the skies cleared up and revealed a profoundly beautiful sunset. Plus, my presentation went swimmingly and the work was a piece of cake. One of God’s immaculate metaphors.

After I snapped a couple pics, I realized this situation has been a recurring theme for me. Example time! As I have already stated, Rome wasn’t my first choice for studying abroad. I was upset because I didn’t get what I thought I wanted. When I made my peace with this, I started to look forward and see the positives of Rome. Positivity for Rome didn’t come easily by any measure; flipping a mindset takes time and effort. But I got through this phase and continued my journey. I made the best of my situation.

Now, I’m in Rome having the time of my life! I have met some great friends. (Shoutout Bobby, Julia, Mattea, and Sam! Etc.) I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to some inspiring creatives. Finally, I’ve gotten some invaluable resume and professional credits and connections. So thank God for Rome! (Shout out Papa Francis.) Sometimes the future looks unappealing and you get downtrodden. However, when you push through with a positive mindset you can do anything. Beautiful things happen.

A positive mindset in life is paramount, especially when studying abroad. I want to remind people of the fruits of having such an attitude, even when it is hard. This doesn’t mean life gets easier (sorry!) or that you are not allowed to have negative feelings. By all means, allow yourself to feel—just don’t let those feelings dictate your life, because it's your life!

A considerable number of people believe that if they struggle with depression, anxiety, etc., it makes them weak. On the contrary, some of the strongest people I know struggle with these mental health issues. So Brandon, Ben, and Dom, know that you are strong and I love you all.

I’ve dealt with my fair share of anxiety on this trip. I mean for one I’m in a foreign country in which English isn’t the primary language. Italy is the epitome of "on your own." During orientation, I experienced a minor panic attack. The room was closing in, I couldn’t escape, etc. The only thing that calmed me down was looking at the positives and convincing myself that even if there were a tragic thing that happened, I could handle it.

My friend Brandon has been struggling with some personal stuff lately. He told me it feels hard to keep his head above water. I feel the same way with work and school in Rome. Midterms and the weeks to follow were rough; I have had homework, papers, presentations, and blogs, not to mention other projects I’m a part of back home. Work loomed and seemed it would swallow me whole. Although our problems are drastically different, I don’t think our approach with positivity should be. Positivity takes practice, plain and simple. Both of us need to put our heads down and get to work!

So flip those expectations and darkness of yours and make something beautiful!

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