Now that I’m nearing the end of my semester in Milan, Italy I can appreciate the many important life lessons I’ve learned. The number one thing I learned is always take the risk. Going to a foreign country without knowing a lick of their language or a single personal living or studying there can be frightening to many, but I promise it’s worth the risk. I quickly realized when I arrived, I was going to make some lifelong friends and lifelong memories. Had I not taken the risk to come here I would’ve missed out on to-date the best 3 months of my life. This has shown me to always go for it and never hold back from doing something because of fear.

The second valuable lesson it has taught me is how important the relationships you create in life are. The people I’ve met here have not only been fun to be around, funny, and incredibly kind, but they’ve taught me so much. I’ve learned about cultures from all over the world I never would’ve thought to care about and I’m so grateful for it. Meeting people from all over the world has been a great blessing and that’s because the people are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to get to know. In life we, or at least I, often focus too much on myself and what I’m doing right or wrong; coming to Italy has taught me to focus more on the people around me and the incredible things they have to offer.

The final lesson I’ve learned since studying abroad is to be patient in all situations. Things at first may not come easy and for the first few days here I was certainly out of sorts a bit. Yes, the jetlag didn’t help, but it was more than that. Figuring out the public transportation seemed impossible for about the first week, and ordering a sandwich even was difficult. I’ve learned to not only be patient with the people who are serving me food, or my roommates and managing our schedules, but I’ve learned to be more patient with myself and how I adapt to things. I would say fortunately here I adapted pretty quick but even this late in the semester there are times I can catch myself having to be patient.

Overall, the lessons learned here go far beyond these three, but these are some of my favorites. Take the risk, study abroad, focus on your relationships and the people around you, treat them well, and be patient, some things will come easy, and some will not. Just go with the flow and appreciate what you have.