Lessons Learned

Natalie Reynoso
March 21, 2014

These past few weeks my Facebook newsfeed seems to be filled with links to different webpages containing all sorts of lists. These lists are quickly becoming a huge phenomenon that make reading faster and easier, which I guess is crucial to gauge the attention of a world engrossed in all forms of media. And so I decided to make my own list. I am currently half-way through my time here in Italy, and so this is the most appropriate time to really reflect on what I have learned thus far. So here are my top five lessons learned and/or experiences had.

  1. You have to be aggressive if you want to learn Italian in Italy. I have ample opportunities to use my Italian here, but more often than not, when Italians find out I’m American they want to try and practice their English with me. But I have learned to insist on being spoken to in Italian, which has done wonders for my language skills.
  2. Gelato. Gelato. Gelato. I am very much convinced that you can never ever have too much or enough gelato.
  3. Don’t walk by a church without going inside. There are so many beautiful churches here and every single one of them is different and beautiful in its own way. Every time I walk inside one I somehow always find myself feeling incredibly overtaken by the grandeur surrounding me.
  4. I am more independent and strong-willed than I often give myself credit for. No journey is without it’s struggles, and thus, of course I have experienced some of my own. But I have consistently surprised myself with how I have adjusted to life in Italy and how I have somehow managed to figure things out.
  5. The magic happens outside of one’s comfort zone. Being in Italy has certainly challenged me to step outside of myself and to take chances. I normally tend to shy away from either of these. But every time I have pushed myself to take a risk and go on an adventure, I have always been met with much growth. Learning isn’t always a comfortable thing to do, but it is always worth any discomfort that it may bring.

Natalie Reynoso

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Natalie Maria Reynoso and I am currently a junior at Wheaton College, Norton, MA where I study religion and psychology. I am a passionate Catholic and an avid reader and writer. I have always loved writing because it provides me with a way to better understand the world and my place in it.</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2014 Spring
Home university:
Wheaton College (MA)
Major:
Religious Studies
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