This week I learned that it is incredibly difficult to study for exams and midterms while you are in an interesting place that you just want to explore. There’s wonderful piazzas, cool places to go out and eat or rest with friends–there’s so much potential. You want to go to the Jewish ghetto, you want to spend your day sight seeing, but you have exams, papers, and planning your future break to think about. Maybe your family is coming, so you’re planning what you want to do with them. Maybe you’re just in a funk. It’s easy to get restless here. It also doesn’t help that this city can be a serious time vacuum; you leave for school at 9 am, turn around and it’s already 5 pm. Not to mention, it’s the middle of October and you could’ve sworn you got here a week ago.
But, here’s why you shouldn’t worry: it’s all going to be okay, you still have more time. Yes, it’s running out fast, but planning is an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and study with your friends (especially if you’re taking an exam for a class with Jan Gadeyne). Take a break every once and awhile to try a new quick food sport or to go to a nice cute place. My friend Fiona and I found this really cute coffee shop a bus ride away that was a really good place for studying (they also had really delicious cappuccinos). It was beneficial to have a change of scenery to refocus ourselves midway through midterms. So, even though we were busy and studying, we still found a way to explore that didn’t seem like a waste of time. This is probably easy to do in general and you can probably find some cool places just from finding different places to study.
Also, this week was voting crazy! In Rome, they have stations set up (they move everyday) for people to hand in their completed ballots, and the election is almost upon us! With the recent debates, the election drawing near, and the confusion and learning process concerning receiving an absentee ballot; voting comes up in almost every conversation. It’s really cool to talk to my fellow Temple Rome students and get their take on the upcoming election, especially my colleagues in my Contemporary Politics in Europe class. What’s even more interesting (possibly) is hearing Italians’ take on the American election. Hearing their perspective on things made me realize just how much our politics are pushed to the forefront of the global political arena, and how media-oriented this election has become.
This hasn’t been the most eventful week, but it has certainly been trying, tiring, and even rewarding in some ways. I definitely learned more about myself, different topics which I’m not used to studying, and the secret treasures Rome has to offer.
Here’s also a general tip for midterms week: gelato. Gelato makes everything better, always.