JANE GADBOIS – STUDYING IN FLORENCE, ITALY

As I write this from a hostel in Paris, it’s been a weepy past couple of days. I am officially done with my semester in Florence, the stress of finals, and packing everything to ship home. Because I am still traveling around Europe, I don’t think it’s fully hit me that this semester is over. I have been just slowly leaking tears over the matter, but haven’t yet had the big break down that I am expecting. That will probably happen my first day back at work if I’m lucky.

I know I mentioned in my last blog post to visit Florence if you have the chance, but honestly, study abroad if you have the chance. While being in Florence taught me a lot about Italian culture and life, study abroad taught me more about myself then any other experience in my life. People talk about how important it is to be comfortable with yourself even when you’re alone. I though I was, I could be by myself at home and be fine, but anytime I wanted to go anywhere other then a mall I would ask someone to come along.

Even though I made friends at school, most of them had already made plans whenever I was free. This is how I ended up traveling alone many times; not every weekend, but over Spring Break, and other times. It’s always scary to do something for the first time, especially when it is just you, but I didn’t give myself the chance to be scared. It was spring break, everyone was gone, and I didn’t want to do a tour by myself. So I decided to do day trips to get out of Florence, but be able to come back at night. And while there were moments that were harder by myself, the freedom to make decisions and to go where I wanted with out having to work and converse with someone else was great. I learned how to trust myself, how to solve problems, and be able to face something new on my own.

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