I knew studying abroad would change me. I just never knew how much. Sure my pants are starting to fit a little tighter, and my legs are whiter then they’ve ever been before thanks to being in a country that actually has different seasons, but most of the changes are on the inside.
I’ve learned that I am strong enough to handle life. Yes, it can get a bit crazy at times, but I’ve learned that I am going to be okay and can handle it. Stress will pass, exams will pass, homesickness and cravings for Chipotle or In n Out will pass, and I will still be okay.
I’ve learned to be confident in what I am doing, or fake it until I am. Whether it is holding my ground crossing the street or trying to keep up a conversation in Italian. In Italy you yield to the bigger object: cars to buses, bikes to cars, and humans to everything!
I’ve learned to try new things, and have fully embraced the idea that you will only experience this once! Although I know I’ll be coming back to Italy, I know I will never have quite these experiences again, so I’ve been trying to do every possible thing I can, whether it be exploring new places, trying new foods, or approaching people I normally wouldn’t!
I’ve learned that public transportation is actually really convenient, but also incredibly stressful. Get to the train station early to make sure you can buy your ticket, and find your platform in time. When booking a plane ticket, if it’s a low price, book it right then and there! I had an unfortunate experience trying to get back from England and ended up paying 3x the price of the first ticket because I waited so long to book it!
I’ve learned that the best things in life come when you put yourself out there and just open your eyes. Take a new way home, sit on a bench and watch the world go by for a couple hours, try and speak only in Italian for a day. You never know what might come out of it.