Currently, I’m sitting in my apartment on Via Fabretti in Perugia. It’s my final week here, and I’m wondering why I never felt the need to make a post before this one about my experience here. You would think I could keep up with something as simple as a blog, but yet again my type B personality outweighs the type A tendencies and perfectionism. So here we are, it’s the 28th of June and i’m procrastinating on studying for one of my finals for tomorrow, so really nothing has changed. Uno scherzo uno scherzo (a joke)…Actually, I think I’ve changed even more than I did since my experience in Rome and to be perfectly honest I didn’t think one could change that much in a matter of 6 months abroad in another country (I say 6 because i’m not leaving here until July 12th). So we struggled through a few tandem language exchanges, all of our classes and tours being taught only in Italian, and I managed to win a prize for only speaking Italian for 2 days during the soloitaliano language challenge.
We’ve traveled to Assisi, Lucca, Viareggio, explored Perugia, and of course I made multiple trips back to Rome to visit Alberto. I’ve made an amazing group of friends here and my roommate is great too! I’m not even sure what to talk about during this post because in only 5 weeks I’ve learned so much, and met so many great people. I supposed I could discus what I’ve learned from this experience. I’ve learned to stop letting other people’s judgements of me bother me. This is really important, and something I still struggle with but I feel like I’ve stopped caring about how others perceive me and that’s such a huge step for me. I’ve let myself go on the nights we went to Shamrock pub to sing karaoke on Mondays and i’ve danced without worrying if people were staring at me and even sang karaoke on stage without worrying if I sounded okay or looked weird standing up there doing awkward dancing and making strange faces as I sang. Along with this I learned to speak Italian better because I stopped fearing making mistakes, however, I still struggle with this when I want to speak to my italian friends (sorry guys, we’ll get there someday).
During the soloitaliano challenge it made me realize how difficult it is to try to explain myself using another language and I understood the struggle for my friends and for Alberto. This really opened my eyes, and I was able to communicate in better ways or with better understanding. Speaking of communication, my iPhone broke on me recently, but I think even before that I became less in touch with social media and more in touch with building real relationships with the people around me. Sure, this has been difficult not being able to speak with Alberto all day or my mom or look something up quickly in Italian on iTranslate or even looking at a map to find my way, but i’ve learned to rely less on my phone and more on my instincts and the people around me. It’s honestly not so bad to be without a smart phone. You can make me read this sentence again when I get a new one once I return to America.
I’ve also learned through my good friend Miranda that as adults we don’t have to like everyone. It’s okay to not like someone and cut that negative person out of your life. And i’ve also learned that walking up a hill twice a day will really tone your thighs and your butt so I’m considering working out finally, once I return in America (totally not because I gained weight eating the three P’s of Italy – pasta, pizza, and prosciutto). I’ve also learned that it’s okay to not bring your camera on trips and enjoy everything that’s right in front of you, especially when it’s hot out and your camera is heavy – it really is okay! I have enough photos from this trip to remember everything and of course the ones i’ve been tagged in on Facebook. I think i’ve learned a lot during this experience and probably a lot more things that i’m forgetting. It’s Tuesday night, I have two more finals keeping me from seeing my family that are coming to Italy, seeing Alberto again, and seeing my family in Italy. On July 12th I return to America and it’s crazy to me. If you’re wondering how i’m doing, the truth is that my heart is filled with love and sadness. I don’t want to leave this place, but imagine if I never even had this experience at all? That would be all the more sadder. You can expect another post from me when I return to America, ci vediamo dopo.