So the truth is: I have been meaning to write this post for a while now, but the rush back into reality got in the way.
Let me start by summarizing where we left off from my last blog. The last thing I wrote about was my performance in my dramaturgy class for our final exam. Since then I completed my last finals of college. Since then I have also received my grades for my final semester of college: For the first time ever I received straight ‘A’s (minus the one class I took S/U in which I received an ‘S’). I take a lot of pride in these grades, considering this was my final college semester, and this was a first for me. I ended college with a bang, and I do believe my GPA will thank me. This also means I am (almost) a college graduate. We are hoping that my grades are received in time for me to graduate in August.
Beyond academics I also attended my first AC Milan football game, something I wanted to do all semester! I saw my first ever opera at La Scala, another place I was hoping to get to before the semester’s end. I celebrated my 23rd birthday. I also made sure to be a complete and total tourist in my own city. It took almost leaving Milan for me to push myself to do all of the things I had been eager to do for months but hadn’t yet. I created a Milan bucket list, full of things I had never done and things I needed to do one last time before departing. I am very content with the results of my bucket list.
My final days abroad, I used the remainder of my bravery to travel alone to Scotland, the Amalfi Coast, Florence (again), and Sicily. I traveled alone for two entire weeks, before returning back to Milan for my final day abroad, in order to see the World Expo. The theme of this year’s Expo, held in Milan from late May through October, is “Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life.” All year it was hyped up to us: “What a blessing it is, and how lucky we students are to have this event in our backyard.” I truly cannot agree more. This, for those who still have the opportunity to check out the Expo, is a must see!
Since then I have returned to the United States for a slap in the face by reality’s hand. I miss Milan more than I could ever have imagined! But the truth is I know this is: a) a good sign and b) completely normal. I miss Milan so much because of the amazing time I spent there. I do not take that magical place, any of my travels, friends, school, food, or anything else about my study abroad life for granted. Studying at Universita Catollica del Sacro Cuore made Milan my home. I find it funny that I miss Milan so much that I even miss the bad stuff! I remember when my friend Stephanie warned me after my post about adjusting that “Just you wait! You will go home and be missing the negative aspects, too. You learn to take them with a grain of salt and miss it all.” She’s right.
Arriving home, I truly hit the ground running. There is never really a free moment; hence, the last blog only now. My adjustment has been rough. I haven’t really had downtime. I came home, immediately got sick with a cold, successfully completed a very challenging juice cleanse, and started work. I am working this summer as a head counselor of five year olds at The JCC Pearl River day camp. The job is proving to be one of my greatest challenges to date. Beyond this I am back living at home now, with the summer addition of my pregnant sister, meaning there are 4.5 of us living in one NYC apartment. Makes sense I’m having a rough transition back to America. I am lucky to have a support system at home, but nobody can ever really understand my situation because my situation is specific to me. It is nice to be home, and sure I could not stay in Milan forever. But to go back for even one day now would be the greatest gift ever. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have been given this experience. Although my heart remains in Milano, I hope to take some notes from my European adventures and make the most of my time here in the United States.
So to Milano I say: I must thank you for changing who I am as a person. I can now truly say that my pledge sister Kimberly is correct when saying one changes via study abroad. “Til next time Italy,” is all I can say. I WILL be back! Just you wait and see. Or, as my friend Heidi says, at the Study Abroad 10 Year Reunion 😉 What the future holds for me is a complete and utter mystery, and truth be told I am completely okay with that. Because truth is what is life without a little mystery?” But I will be sure to update any of those who remain interested in my future whereabouts. And as I mentioned beforehand, Italy has not seen the last of me!
So my dear readers, if this is truly my last post, my final advice must be that you all follow your hearts and follow your dreams. Go see the world; you will not regret it! Ciao for now <3