It’s crazy to think I’ve already been in Florence for six weeks.
And what a crazy six weeks it has been. I’ve traveled every weekend, seeing Cinque Terre, Viarregio, Barcelona, the Almafi Coast, Paris and Munich. This all while getting to roam through Florence everyday. And then throw in some schoolwork, which I’m actually really enjoying.
But six weeks is a long time to be away from home, especially for me. I’ve always been fiercely independent, but I’m the girl who lives 45 minutes away from campus. While I’m off doing my own thing at Kent, busy with dance team and my sorority and classes, if I ever need a break it’s just a short trip to go home, cuddle with my puppy and eat something that wasn’t just pulled out of the freezer.
Not having that option in Italy can get very stressful, even for the smallest of problems, like not finding soup in a can. Alas, we have all crossed out of the honeymoon stage of our study abroad experience. It was bound to happen at some point.
And it’s OK. You’ll have your breakdown. You’ll hate Italy for being so slow, for not having Starbucks and for all the people that congest it’s narrow streets. It’s OK to desperately miss the comforts of home and finally have that phone call to your best friend where you just sob. Chances are, they’ve been waiting to hear it.
But it does get better. Last week my roommates and I sulked in our apartment, Olivia and I crying over missing Bid Day with our sorority sisters. And this weekend we had the time of our lives at Oktoberfest, capping it off with our weekly dinner and gelato date and talks of never leaving Europe.
Studying abroad is about more than just experiencing another part of the world. It’s about figuring yourself out, growing up and putting things into perspective. Do we miss home? Of course we do. But that doesn’t mean it should consume our time here.