Coming back home after 2 months of being in Europe was much harder than I anticipated.
During my last week in Rome, I felt ready to come home and return to the normalcy of my life in the U.S. However, once I settled back in, I felt emptier than ever.
I missed what my life had been over the summer. It was like a slap in the face stepping back into reality.
There were no more world-traveling adventures. No more eating at new restaurants every night. No more spontaneous activities and hanging out with amazing new friends.
I was simply surrounded by the same city I spent the last 12 years of my life in. The same city I chose to leave when I picked a university that was 2,000 miles away.
I knew it was going to be strange being back home, but change and adjustment have always been a challenge for me.
I tried to focus on staying positive and being present with my current situation. I just had the most amazing summer abroad and 2 months of memories to remember it by.
It helped to think about everything I missed while I was abroad like my family, starbucks, the beach, and crushed ice.
It was hard to be present back at home for a while, but reliving the memories with my friends from abroad was another bittersweet reminder of how special my time abroad was. It was truly an experience I won’t soon forget.
It’s hard coming back from an incredible study abroad experience and not feeling a bit sad about it being over, but holding onto the good times and being present helped me stay positive during the transition back to reality.
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<p>Ciao, my name is Chiara and I'm a rising senior at the University of Portland studying English, computer science, and education! I work as a news reporter on my campus newspaper (and will soon be an editor as well). I am extremely excited to be studying abroad in Rome, Italy this summer and I can’t wait to gain experience and share my journey for others while doing what I love: writing.</p>