Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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I just finished my fourth consecutive final. Needless to say, I am exhausted. Whenever finals period rolls around, I am convinced that I turn into an owl, perpetually in a nocturnal state: sleep all day, study all night. Probably not the healthiest habit, but I’ve been this way for all my academic career (ask my mom and she’ll verify). Since I am not taking any sort of arts-focused classes, all my finals are sit-down exams, so I have been re-reading notes, reviewing past Powerpoints, and mentally compiling a semester’s worth of lectures for all of my classes. It’s been a lot.

After I finished my final this morning, I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that there is only one left. Granted, it’s in my toughest class, so that might not be fun, but I am excited to finish things up. When I felt that sigh of relief this morning, a little voice popped into my head: “there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” it said. A light at the end of the tunnel?! I couldn’t believe I thought that! How can there be a light at the end of the tunnel if this tunnel is leading us out of Rome? Finals means the semester is over, and with the completion of the semester comes the return to the U.S. The fact that we are leaving Rome so soon is a whole issue in itself, so check out my next blog post for that discussion!

I want to return back to this “light at the end of the tunnel” concept. I think there is a very legitimate reason that that thought popped into my head this morning. Being in Rome is of course a huge change from being at school at your home campus. Instead of walking around and seeing the usual campus buildings, your surroundings can change every day. As such, living in Rome has served as a distraction from the typical monotony of college life back home, so this morning I had to remember that I have in fact completed a full semester of courses. Plus, my school at home is on a different schedule than Temple Rome, so it feels weird that I’m finishing up finals while my friends are still in classes. Because of these things, I think I’ve been in a different headspace, and things haven’t really felt “real” yet.

Things are in fact very real, and it’s all speeding up and becoming a lot to digest. I am a junior this year, so finishing this academic year is bittersweet. I am so excited to see what I pursue after college, but at the same time, I cannot believe I only have one year of college left. What’s more, I still can’t believe that I got to spend part of my junior year in Rome. I’ve said it before, but I have learned so much here, and Rome has given me the pause and perspective that I so desperately needed. After this semester, I feel renewed and energized heading into senior year, and after this semester abroad, I have new goals for making the most of my senior year. As sad as it is to go home, I really am so excited to apply what I’ve learned here.

My classes have been a blast. When I look back on it, I got to spend an entire semester studying exclusively Italian and Classics-related topics, which is something I really came to enjoy. I learned about Italy and the inner workings of ancient Rome, and through these classes, I learned more about myself. So maybe the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to be a sad concept—maybe the light is simply just a celebration and reminder of all the good that’s happened in the course of just one short semester. So here we go: one more final left, and then I will be dooonneee!!!

P.S. see below for proof of my weird sleep/study habits, yikes!! 🙂

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