During the time since I left Siena, I have thought about my entire experience quite a bit. No words can ever truly describe all that I saw and experienced during my time abroad. At 20 years old I had the unique opportunity to see a different way of life and challenge myself beyond anything I ever thought I was capable of. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge along the way about art, history, culture, and language. I saw the beauty in traveling to new places to experience different cultures and lifestyles. It never quite felt real that I was actually doing what most people only dream about their whole lives. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to chase my dreams half way across the world. It was an invaluable educational experience that I truly believe made me a more well-rounded student.
Yet, I think the most important part of this whole experience was that I learned about myself. Being out of your comfort zone for four months truly tests your limits. The entire semester was about extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows created a test like none other for me. I learned to live with myself, to rely on my own knowledge and common sense instead of constantly relying on other people. It’s not a bad thing to rely on others but in the end you need to be able to depend on yourself. Discovering that I can depend on myself in difficult situations was something that I needed to learn and being outside of my comfort zone allowed me to do this.
Siena will always have a special place in my heart. It was the setting for one of the most formative experiences of my life and it truly had an impact on who I am now versus who I was only four months ago. I am not a different person, just a better version of myself after this amazing semester. Now moving forward, I want to use all the knowledge and skills I gained to push myself to achieve greater things, to stop doubting my abilities, and do what makes me happy. Even though this beautiful chapter in my life has come to a close, it has influenced where I go from here. I don’t know when I will return to Italy, but I know it will happen sometime in the future. Until then, I will find other ways to challenge myself beyond what I think is possible and keep reaching for new heights.
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<p>I'm a sophomore from George Washington University majoring in Communications and minoring in Italian and Journalism. I love traveling, art, and food. I am so excited to share my experiences with you, especially my quest for the best bread in Italy.</p>