Today I walked past Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo) after my last final. It previously stood as the pinnacle of where I wanted to be. Now, it is a pin on the map of my life. I will miss walking past the remnants of the Renaissance and living within eyesight of the resting place of some of the most brilliant people in history (Santa Croce). I’ll even miss this apartment which certainly doesn’t have the same luxuries as most homes found in the United States. I say goodbye knowing that I will soon occupy other wonderful places, like the University of Alabama, and those goodbyes will also come and go.
I’ve met people from all around the world. I’ve become close to my roommates and dread the goodbye to them. However, I’m happy to have had the chance to meet all of these people. My suggestion is that you always spark a conversation. The friendships that bloom from a simple hello are incredible.
I know I’ll miss the places, people, food, and even the inconveniences that come with living anywhere but the United States. I suggest you thank each and every professor, cafeteria worker, and store owner you become familiar with.
Goodbyes are difficult, but I know the hellos when I return home will be joyous and that is what takes the edge off of the “end of study abroad” blues.
I will keep you posted on how I deal with reverse culture shock upon my return.