Growing up, I have always had that “go go go” mentality. I try to keep myself as busy as possible just because “doing” always makes the time go by faster. Because of this, I have never really had free time so this trip has most definitely been an adjustment for me. As a BioMedical Sciences major on a Pre-Med track, I am quite used to 10 hour days with studying on the weekends and my mother, being the intuitive genius she is, thought that I should study abroad as a way for me to gain some distance, not only mentally, but also physically, from my core STEM classes. I, of course, wasn’t too fond of the idea but turns out, taking a break was exactly what I needed.
Fast forward to right before we leave. I had made a plan, thinking I was going to be spending my free time at the palace studying for the MCAT but my mother, again, quite adamant, said that I needed to take the summer to relax and focus on embracing and learning as much of the Italian culture as I could. The work that we have been doing is definitely different than I am used to, but I feel like I appreciate being in Italy more now that I have the time and the comfort to do so. For example, our group take these optional excursions on the weekends and they are absolutely perfect in that you can do whatever you want. I usually pass the time by walking around and exploring before coming back to the hotel and relaxing for a couple of hours. These excursions have allowed me to get that much needed break at the end of the week as well as rejuvenating me for the week we have ahead.
I am hoping that upon returning back to the United States, I will be able to continue listening to my mother’s advice and giving myself some time to relax as sometimes just “being” is the best medicine one needs.
Make sure you take some time for yourself,