It feels like just yesterday I was crying to my mom and sister being honest with them (and to myself) that I was terrified for my study abroad.
And now fast forward 3 months and I don’t ever want to leave Europe! My program officially ended on Thursday and as a class we had a talent show, it was a super cute and nice way to end things.
This past week I dreaded going home. I still do. However, I’m coming to terms with it, only because I have to. I realized I’m not looking forward to catching up in my senior year, that, and well winter in Canada. The weather in Florence has been chilly but certainly not as freezing as back home, so that should be a swell welcome back aha.
I was talking to one of my friends in the program earlier about what our favourite parts of the trip were, did we do everything we wanted to do etc. And I can say I have. In terms of academics and the language, I can say I’ve improved and learnt a lot more, I still feel shy speaking Italian but not as shy as before and honestly I’m really happy about that. And if you knew me before the trip, I really wasn’t keen on how everyone was saying “oh you’re going to change so much” because I was worried however I “changed” would be directed as something negative. You know how there’s those comments “Wow. Europe or *insert a different life event* has changed you” and it’s usually said with a negative undertone? Yeah, well I was worried about that and it sounds silly to, but I was.
However, in my self reflection (which I tend to do and encourage everyone to do), I realized now I don’t care what people think. If a change is visible, I hope it’s for the best, at least I think how I’ve grown has been really positive for my own confidence and outlook on life and I hope that change continues to be positive for me.
I’ve learned so so many things, like if I’m unhappy with a situation then (it’s so simple to say but) I learned to do something about it.
This is from a draft I never published: “I’m halfway through my study abroad experience, yes it’s already been a month. It’s gone by a little too quickly. On the train this weekend it really hit me how lucky I am to be here despite some roller coasters. I mean so far (aside from Florence of course) I’ve been able to visit Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Positano, Livorno, Settigano, Bologna, and Rome. I’m going to develop my pictures from Rome in a bit so be ready for those!
Since my last post- which I’m sorry it’s been a while- I was in the midst of finding a new place to stay. I’ve learned that if you don’t feel happy and most importantly comfortable with whatever situation you are in, the next step is to take action and find something else. So that’s what I’ve been doing, I was researching along with friends for a place that we could rent for our last month being here.
Yes, it was incredibly stressful but I can’t even begin to tell you just how much better I feel now that I feel like I actually live in Florence instead of this bubble that residence can sometimes create. I’m also a very short walk away from art galleries which means more selfies with art coming at ya!
I feel like now that we’ve moved and settled in, it’s a fresh start to the program and I can leave all that stress behind.”
To add to that list, I’ve been to Arezzo, Lucca, Fiesole, Venice, and Paris.
Moving to an apartment was the BEST DECISION EVER, I really did feel more involved in the city, like I truly am living here, we had a kitchen to cook our own meals, I got to know 3 girls from my program a lot better, we lived in the historic centre of Florence in a building from the Renaissance (how cool is that?!) and most importantly I felt more independent. Which is an amazing feeling!!
I’m going to really miss this city, its art, its history, its culture, and just this entire experience and all the adventures I was blessed to have.
Arrivederci Firenze, grazie mille per tutti.
*Photo by Lia taken at Piazzale della Reuppblica where the carousel is magical.*