Time Abroad: Fall 2007
Before leaving for Rome, I was expecting to grow during my time abroad but I did not expect that I was going to grow this much. Studying abroad has been one of the best decisions that I have made thus far. I am so glad that I had this opportunity to take a vacation from life and focus on myself.
There is so much that I learned about myself while in Italy that I cannot capture it all in this one writing. If I had to summarize what I have learned into one word "genuine" would be the word I pick. I am learning how to have genuine relationships with others, and genuinely enjoy the present. By far, I have learned the most while walking around Rome at night. Every afternoon, the city streets and piazzas are filled with Italians strolling aimlessly and enjoying the hospitality of the city.
During my time walking around, I have realized that I take life way too seriously and overcomplicate it. I tend to put many of my life aspirations on hold with no intention of fulfilling them. Because of this, I have taken for granted aspects of my life. There is so much that I have wanted to do and say but failed because "I did not have the time". Italy at night has taught me that there is always time for things you want to do. With this new appreciation for the present, I have developed a photographic eye that has caused everything around me to be in slow motion.
It is surreal how different life is when time is not your enemy. When life is in slow motion, you can really enjoy each moment and notice the subtle things in life.
Rome is a beautiful city and I am so glad I got the chance to call this place home. There is much of Rome that I did not see during this semester. Instead of feeling regret, I have found comfort in knowing that I will return to Italy another time. However, it is going to be strange having to check into a hotel and not have my apartment and friends around.
I will forever be in debt to Italy. Italy is the best teacher I have ever had. I am looking forward to returning home to see what aspects of my study abroad experience will carry with me. I am hoping that everything that I have learned will follow me throughout life.