Entering the eighth week of this incredible journey in Italy, I am already experiencing a sense of nostalgia. The first one at the airport on that Monday afternoon in May, I had no idea who I would be surrounded by for the next twelve weeks, nor the friendships I would secure with people who would help me to grow as a person. Together, the twenty of us ladies have morphed seamlessly into a type of family able to push one another to make the most out of our time here.
With the first couple of months in Italy behind me, I reflect on the grandeur of Italian architecture, relish in the undeniable cuisine, and admire the passion of our Italian professors who so vehemently strive to educate us students on their culture and beliefs. While there is endless information to ingest and countless churches to appreciate, I feel that this program does an outstanding job of balancing the time we spend in the classroom, versus traveling on fieldtrips to experience these amazing sites firsthand. As the weeks pass, every student documents their time here in a journal containing a vast range of cooking recipes, architectural history, and many, many pictures. I value the opportunity to document this journey so thoroughly because I will cherish these memories and the knowledge I have gained forever.
Throughout the duration of this trip, I have tried to live each day following one of my favorite phrases, “When is the last time you did something for the first time?” Thank you, Drake, for the insightful thought. Because of this ideology, I have jumped off a cliff in the Mediterranean Sea, tried squid in my pasta, and even have plans to skydive over the Swiss Alps. Keeping this motto close to my heart, I believe that I was brought on this adventure to gain as many experiences as possible and savor every moment because the time passes all too quickly. In the next five weeks I hope to continue learning, laughing, and loving the place I am in with the most amazing people by my side. For this journey I am truly thankful.