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Reflecting on Rome

January 8, 2018

Today is my first day back at school in Indiana. I’ve been home for a few weeks now, and Italy seems like a dream. It’s hard to believe I lived in those places, and experienced all of those amazing things.

I’m having a hard time getting ready for this semester. It’s dropped below zero degrees Farenheit almost every single day here, and I hate the cold. It’s 51 degrees in Rome right now.

The coffee here is terrible, everyone always wants to go to subpar Italian restaurants, and the ice cream costs far too much money. But I know I’ll get used to my school again, just as I got used to being in Rome. Afterall, going abroad taught me to be flexible.

Everyone wants to know how my experience in Rome went. Maybe it seems like I’m describing a four-month vacation - I guess that’s not exactly false. I have a few handy sentence ready. I say I ate well, saw many beautiful things, flew on many planes. I made a few best friends (casual), and we are planning to visit each other this summer.

Of course, that description is a poor representation of the rich experience I had abroad. But no one wants the full explanation - I’m not even sure what it would look like. I’ll probably have to start writing more about my experience to to understand its full impact.

My friend is leaving for a semester abroad this week, and she told me that she’s nervous. I could relate. I was scared even after I had settled into my apartment in Rome. It took weeks to get used to. But I told her it would be over before she knew it, and to take full advantage of the opportunity. It’s an intense experience, so you have to do everything quickly - make friends, adjust to your environment, make travel plans. So you have to do everything with intention. But as a result, you see so much more of the world.

She asked me if I felt like a different person after living abroad. I said I felt like that would be a silly thing to say, but I do feel refreshed. She responded that I seem less anxious, and happier in general. While some of that probably had to do with winter break, I know I am better because of my time abroad, and I am so thankful. I hope I bring those positive qualities into this next semester and beyond.

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