Well this is it folks. I’ve reached the end of the Temple Rome program. Lots of bittersweet feelings are flooding my emotions today because I can literally count the HOURS left here in this beautiful country and eternal city.
Last night there was a farewell pizza party for the students and it was weird to say goodbye to some faces in the same lounge where I said hello to them as strangers during the welcome pizza party. After the pizza party I went to my friend’s apartment to have a low key evening watching movies and spending time with a group of new friends.
This past week I’ve been trying to balance out fitting in last minute things along with studying and taking finals. I feel like I succeeded pretty well because I saw the Christmas tree in St. Peters Square, got some gelato one last time at my favorite place “Old Bridge”, had nice out-to-eat meals with friends, and much more as well as studying for exams. For me, this semester in Rome is my LAST semester EVER as an undergrad. So these exams were not only extremely important for me to do well on, but also my last grades I’ll ever work for as an undergrad. Spending my last semester in Rome was one of the best choices I made for my college career.
I made more friends these past few months here than I have during my past semesters in Temple in Philadelphia. What makes it really hard is that everyone gets to go home and see each other during the spring semester, but I will not be around. I know we will all keep in touch via Facebook and email but it’s still hard to say goodbye.
This past semester has had its shares of ups and downs, however it has taught me so much about myself and my morals as a person. I had to learn to live in conditions that were not necessarily “perfect” in my eyes and learn to get along with people that I wouldn’t necessarily converse with in normal life. I had some trials to endure, one being the loss of my grandfather back home, and dealing with those emotions of feeling stuck here because I wasn’t able to go home to be with my family. However, as I already mentioned, I have made great friends here and they were all there for me and helped me cope the best they could.
On that note, I want to take a quick break to give a shout out thank you to one individual here who has helped me in numerous ways. She’s a fellow student and great friend – Betsy. Bets – I wouldn’t have made it through these past four months without your support, kindness, and caring ways. When I had “off” moments you were there to listen and prop me back up. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share this experience with. Thank you so much! I can only hope that people who do this program in the future are able to form a special bond like we have. You’re truly an amazing person with a big heart…thanks for being my shining light and never leaving me in the dark.
Well, there you go! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my thoughts and experiences here in Rome. Unlike many people here on the program I am actually really ready to head home. This experience has shown me how important home is to me and how much I value America and being an American. We are a lucky country and I’m a blessed person to have such great friends and family to go home too. I’m also ready to celebrate the holiday season! I’ve loved seeing all the sights in Rome and being able to travel to other foreign countries, and I hope to travel abroad again someday in the near future…but until then…you know what they say – All good things must come to an end. Ciao!