This is the third blog I’ve had the opportunity to write about this program. I was a student in Summer 2021, a Teaching Assistant (TA) in Summer 2022, and now, a TA in Spring 2023. Each semester taught me lessons about the world and myself. They were each challenging and beautiful in many ways, and they were so different from each other as a result. However, among the variances there were a few constants that grounded me and reminded me who I was. These constants taught me as many lessons as the different challenges have over my time with JSB.
Every morning over the past 9 months I have lived in Ariccia, I would visit the same coffee shop. The friends I have made in that sweet café have turned into family. They welcome me and remind me of the home I have in Italy. When I think of them, I think of the haven they have created for hundreds of students, including myself. Their shop is a constant I have come to rely on not only for the necessary boost of caffeine, but also for the comfort and friendship and feeling of home.
I have also spent 9 months learning from our dear Cinzia and Roberta. They are everything I could ever want to be: strong and gentle, kind and giving, patient and loving. They have been there for me in every capacity: faculty, mentor, team, friend. They have been and always will be a constant in my life.
These constants, amongst others, have shaped me into the woman I am today. They were there for me as I grew up throughout college, and I know they will be there for me as I grow beyond. As I struggle to decide what I want to do in this next chapter of life, I am reminded that what is more important is who I become, not what I do. It is the constant leadership and love from these friends that I am reminded of this lesson.
Thank you to my friends, both old and new, that have walked alongside me during my time in Italy!
A beautiful sunset in Ariccia, another constant!