Crying in the Club

The days leading up to my departure for Italy, I was incredibly excited but also overwhelmingly anxious about leaving my home and my friends. Everyone around me would say that I was going to have the best time and that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will impact me forever and they were right. The thing that no one tells you, however, is that you will have bad days and you will miss your home and your people so much that it physically hurts.

This study abroad program is an incredible experience, and I would never trade it for anything but everyone telling me how phenomenal it would be and that everything will be perfect made me feel like I could not express when I was having a hard time. You are allowed to have bad days, feel homesick, and want to go back to what you know sometimes; it is completely normal and just because you are studying abroad in a beautiful country does not diminish what you have left behind.

I, personally, have struggled deeply leaving my family and friends. I was holding back tears in a club one night in Florence because I was suddenly so overwhelmed by everything and everyone around me and that none of it was familiar. This is okay and something that everyone should be prepared for. The days that are not phenomenal, perfect, or fun are going to come and whatever feeling you may have in those moments are completely valid. It is a unique experience and not everyone will understand but we are allowed to miss things from home and our feelings of loneliness in a foreign place are valid. Take in every moment and adore those times that everything is perfect, fun, and phenomenal because there are so many of them but never feel like you cannot struggle because we all do.

With thanks,

Chloe Tomberlin

This is me, taking in an incredible view of the Duomo in Florence. It represents a moment I will never forget!