My last Italian cappuccino- one of the things I miss the most!

I’ve been back in the United States for three weeks now and have gained so much perspective looking back at my study abroad experience. While spending my summer in Florence, I believe I grew as a person in many ways. Firstly, I learned how to be okay on my own. There were times my friends and I were not able to do everything together, and I had to venture out on my own. I felt lonely and afraid at my first solo cooking class, but by the end of it I was having a great time and met so many new people. Second, I learned how to be more flexible. Spending the summer traveling across Italy (mostly using public transportation), I quickly learned how many things are out of my control. No amount of planning and organizing can prevent travel delays or unexpected cancellations. Before going abroad, I viewed my plans as set in stone and permanent. Now, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected (however much I can) and am better at accepting what life hands me. Additionally, the people I met and became so close with this summer helped me see the importance in not judging a book by its cover. I met students from all over the world, and from so many various backgrounds. Girls I would have never thought I would be friends with soon became my closest friends, and who I now share life-long memories with. 

Now that I have been back home for a few weeks, I can more clearly see these changes within myself. My first week back was mostly spent catching up on sleep-jet lag is so real! I’m not sure why I assumed I would come back and immediately be ready to hit the ground running, but I was wrong. It was a little bit overwhelming seeing all of my friends and family at once when I got back, but within a few days I had eased back into my life here. Studying abroad made me realize so much about myself, and taught me more than I could have imagined.