To put it simply, “The exchange really is forever”. Little did I know that those foreign exchange students whom I only spent a measly 20 days with in 2012, would still be in my life four years later. Rewind to June 2011 when, in the last week of my Junior year of high school, I received an email with the name Sophie Monachini, the Italian girl who would come live with us for 10 days that fall. Cut to September when all of us Americans were waiting at the gate with flowers and posters decorated with our respective Italians’ names.
To the people who made college so manageable~
You know who you are. The never-ending texts with the emojis that summarize our lives too perfectly, the infinite amount of sleepovers, and the countless number of embarrassing photos we have of one another, are all part of what makes this chapter so much harder to close. I never would have made it through these last 3.5 years without you. From Preview to Commencement, you have each touched my life in so many ways. I don’t just have my parents to thank for my degree, because you too played such a huge part in my success.
As a study abroad student, living the Florentine life can be an incredibly rewarding experience filled with great food, amazing people, and new adventures. However, to truly get the local experience it can be helpful to focus on the culture itself. Otherwise it is very possible you'll end up with a semester abroad filled with memories of drunken kebabs and no Italian vocabulary. Here are some great ways to go about your life as a local in Florence while still enjoying your time as a student!
Attraversiamo: an all-encompassing word meaning “let’s cross over”. For my Eat, Pray, Love admirers, this is already a familiar concept. But for those unfamiliar, what an enlightening concept to follow and become inspired by. I highly recommend either reading the novel or catching the film with the lovely Julia Roberts because it really is indulging in the highest, truest sense of the word. Shortly following what most would recognize as a mid-life crisis, Liz abandons her daily life and retreats for a year-long journey of self-discovery between Italy, India, and Bali. This adventure is nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster that has left me with an overflowing supply of inspiration.
@LaurMoneyMartin of Elite Daily wrote a fantastic article (find it here!) that really got me thinking about life and what it means to be a millennial. In the past six months my entire worldview has changed. Growing up I had always wanted to be a teacher. Go to college, move to the city, get a big-girl job, move to the burbs, get married, have kids, work until you’re 65 and hopefully have enough saved to retire; this is the format of what will be a riveting and inspirational life, they said.
Life is complicated, that's a given. I'm just here to talk through the rough patches, celebrate the successes of adulthood and figure out what the hell we're doing.