It’s official- I’ve completed my semester abroad at Temple Rome! It feels so good to say that/ I worked so hard this past semester and learned so much. However, I’m experiencing a lot of mixed emotions right now.
It’s appropriate to say that my thoughts about leaving Rome are bittersweet. “Sweet,” because I’m heading back to the States soon, and I can be reunited with my friends and family (my dogs too, of course). I’m also looking forward for things to go back to normal. I’ve missed the small things, like my bed, American television, driving around in my Jeep, Mexican food and everyone speaking English!
But there’s also a lot of “bitter.” My study abroad experience will always be just a small moment in my life and I will always look back on it. Now, I’m still living this moment, and soon it will all become one big memory. My time here in Rome was such a positive experience, and I feel like a completely new person. I have a different outlook on life and culture, and I’ve learned an incredible amount, in and out of the classroom. One important thing I’ve learned is to have a little more faith in strangers. The Italian people taught me this with their kindness and patience. I also now know that I’m capable of doing anything that life throws at me. Moving yourself to an unfamiliar place for three and a half months is not an easy thing to do!
It’s unbelievable that I’m leaving Rome tomorrow night. Reflecting on the past semester, I can remember how I felt when I left New York for Rome. I specifically remember how I was feeling my first night here: scared, intimidated, and homesick. Now, I can already feel “Romesick” and I haven’t even left yet! But I will also leave with my new-found confidence and maturity.
To give my final farewell to Rome, I went to the top of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica this past week. I walked up hundreds of stairs with my two friends to see the most amazing view of the city that changed me forever. It was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, and I could see everything: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Tiber River, the Borghese Gardens. As I was enjoying the view, I overheard a woman say to her friend: “If you lived in this city, wouldn’t you have peace of mind?” This just made me smile, because I know that my experience proved this statement true.
I’m not heading back to America until a few weeks from now. I’ll be in Scotland for a week, and then my mom is flying over! We’ll be traveling around Scotland, Amsterdam and London for ten days, and I couldn’t be more excited. What a great way to end my time abroad.
Today and tomorrow will be spent packing up all my stuff and enjoying as much as Rome as possible. I threw my coin into the Trevi Fountain, so I have no doubt that I will be back again. Ciao, Roma!