Eight: Finals are Great… Halfway done

I am about half of the way through my semester abroad, and let me tell you it has been quite the experience. I have had so many up and downs that it hasn’t even been funny. Although I do know that I would not trade any of these moments for the world. It has been such a rewarding experience to be in Europe to study thus far, and I am sure that it will continue to be a rewarding experience in the months to come. I have also realized that I only have six weeks left when I come back from fall break which is not a lot. Before you know it I will be back in the States wondering where the time went and wanting to come back to Europe. I hear that happens when you go through study abroad withdrawals. I don’t think I will have that problem because I have discovered that I am a homebody because for at least the first two weeks I was questioning whether or not I was going to be able to make it through this journey or not. I have survived worse. I mean I have been through more than most people. If homesickness is the worst thing that happens to me in Europe I would say that I have had a successful semester. At times it almost doesn’t seem real that I am living half way around the world. At other times it is painfully obvious. This past week for instance I have been struggling with getting my laundry done because I have had so much to do for finals. If you want to wear something in Italy you better make sure you clean it three days in advance because they don’t have driers here. That means that you have to hang dry everything. This is a huge pain in the butt. It also doesn’t help that I have twice the amount of laundry compared to most of my roommates since I run in the morning I go through a ridiculous amount of clothes. I never thought I would be thankful for a drier but what do you know.

The other thing that I have realized this semester is that there is a lot more that goes into photography than you think. There is the taking of pictures, the editing, and the printing. The hardest part for me seems to be the taking. I found that you learn to not care what your subjects think of you when you are taking their picture. I guess I will never know if they were truly mad about it or not because as it happens I don’t speak Italian. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not, but in the case of being yelled at by random strangers for taking their picture I am going to go with a good thing. I also did not expect to be this busy. I know that I shouldn’t feel this way because you go to school to learn, but honestly having class for two and a half hours just seems like a little bit of over kill to me, and all of you guys were complaining about an hour and a half. I can’t wait to go back to having class for that amount of time. Honestly my attention starts to go within the first hour of classes here. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that, but I spend half of my time doodling and the other half checking the clock. When my three week intensive classes are over I think it will be a lot less stressful. I will have finished two finals for the semester after this week is over. It seems surreal at times that I am doing all of this stuff in another country.

The one thing that I do love about Italy though is the food. Not just that though the architecture is beautiful too. It is a much more relaxed way of life here compared to how it is in America. People are never in a hurry here and this can be such a breath of fresh air when it comes to trying to get my stuff done. The first month it was so hard to get used to people eating dinner at seven thirty at the earliest. Now I am not sure if I will ever be able to get used to eating dinner so early when I get back home. One thing that I found crazy about the Italians is they don’t dress for the weather they dress for the season. They are all decked out in scarves, sweaters, pants, boots, and jackets. I die in a dress and toms because it’s honestly seventy- five degrees outside and I am used to it being about fifty or below around this time of year. Not that I am complaining because I definitely love how warm it is out, but I know that this year I am going to be skipping fall and heading straight back into winter. Hopefully Papa Ben brings my winter coat to the airport when he comes to get me in December. That I am definitely not looking forward to.

On Sunday I will be heading to Ireland and staying for the week in Dublin as well as traveling on to London, England, and you can bet that I am going to totally nerd out at the Harry Potter Studios. Yes, I already booked my tickets and yes I will be drinking a Butter Beer. I can already tell that I am going to enjoy a much needed break after Friday is over with. My roommates are all going to be going on trips too and I know that they are almost as excited as I am. My roommate who is going with me to London and I realised the other day that we can actually get Starbucks in London. I almost cried because I was so excited about the prospect of a pumpkin spice latte. Typical white girl problems. I am still bummed that I am missing football season, but as long as I don’t miss baseball season I think I can survive. As always I will write more soon! Hope you are all enjoying the fantastic political commercials on T.V. 🙂 That is definitely a perk of living in Italy. Ciao for now!



  1. I love reading about your adventures Hillary! But, just an FYI… you are missing baseball season right now because the St. Louis Cardinals are still playing!!! Sounds like you are having quite the adventure. Enjoy it!

    • Thanks! I’m glad someone reads it haha. Sometimes I feel like I just write for my health. I meant high school ball season and town team where my mom is from. I have been keeping up on the World Series playoffs while I am here. As it happens my family has been rooting for the Kansas City Royals because my family lives there and my mom’s uncle used to play for them in his later career. It’s all pretty exciting. Hope you are having a great fall and enjoying watching your Cards play even if they stink haha!

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