The other night, I was sitting bored in my room when I decided to watch Roman Holiday. I’d been hearing the name a lot since I’d been here, so I decided it was necessary for me to watch a movie set in the place I’m living in this semester. After watching the movie, I started to wonder how my study abroad experience would have been different if I came during the 1950s when the movie was released. The most significant difference, as anyone could guess, would be technology. This lead to me thinking about all the ways technology has impacted or played a role in my study abroad experience. Technology is such an integral part of my everyday life that I often don’t realize how much I rely on it and how starkly different my life would be without it. At home, I don’t spend much time analyzing my technology use because its just a part of my everyday routine, but in Rome, I’m much more aware of how I’m spending my free time. While technology is so easy to look down upon, it has proven to be very useful while abroad in numerous ways.
For example, my phone is most importantly used for navigation, ride service, Italian practice, taking photos, and keeping in touch with my family and friends. These tools make my phone a great asset in everyday life by eliminating some possibly stressful or annoying situations. It’s also a tool for safety that no one can argue against.
On the other hand, technology can be a dangerous time-sucker. When you are living abroad for just about three and a half months, you want to make the most of every moment, but sometimes you can find yourself binge-watching a new show after you’d promised yourself just one episode to unwind. It’s important to still have chill-time, but too much of it just makes me regretful when I think of the beautiful city just right outside my window. Our generation is so used to filling our free time with screens that it’s hard to break that norm and instead read, play a game, people watch, or walk around and explore by yourself. This type of downtime is still relaxing, but doesn’t suck away our time and prohibit us from being present. Being present in the moment is what creates the best memories, and I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to make a lot of those this semester!
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<p>My name is Jackie Jones and I'm a sophomore at Claremont Mckenna College in Claremont, CA from San Diego, CA. I enjoy traveling, photography, fashion, music and playing volleyball for my school. On the weekends, you can find me playing Spikeball, beach volleyball, or on a deep-dive of music videos on Youtube.</p>