A Summer of Friendship

Anyone following this blog throughout the summer has read about the amazing places we all have visited as a group and several adventures that some have taken on our free weekends. Although it would be nice for me to talk about the many amazing weekend trips I have taken with friends and on my own, I thought this would be a great time to talk about the friendships that have been made this summer. For the majority of us, including myself, we arrived in Ariccia only knowing a few people within the group. It was basically like walking into a room full of strangers. I know personally that I was nervous about making friends within the group and was unsure how the summer would turn out. Well here we are with only a few weeks left in our summer abroad and I am glad to say that I have met some of the most amazing people and have made friendships that will last forever. One of my favorite memories of this summer was while we were in Florence a couple of weeks ago. One evening a group of us decided to go eat at an Indian restaurant. There were eleven of us so they set us in a room in the back with a big table and just enough chairs for each of us. After ordering our food, we sat around the table talking and someone suggested that we go around the table and ask each other questions about our lives. The questions started off as fun “getting to know you” questions, but eventually made a turn for more thought provoking and emotional questions. This continued throughout our meal and lasted even after we were finished eating. That night we shared pieces of our personal life stories with each other. It was one of the most down to earth, personable, and real conversations that I have ever had. We laughed, we cried, and shared our thoughts on events within our lives and the world around us. After we left the restaurant, I couldn’t help but smile at how well dinner went. The food and drink was great, but the best part was the communion that we shared with one another as a group of friends. This summer has given me so many amazing experiences. I have made so many great memories and learned so much, but my favorite part is the new friends I now have.

Ciao,
Jackson Shell

A group picture the day after our lovely dinner

A group picture the day after our lovely dinner