I quickly hit the snooze button when my 7:45 a.m. alarm went off. Little did I know, as cliche as it sounds, that I would be signing up for the summer of a lifetime. My friends were blowing up my phone, ensuring I was awake; I could hear the dings while I tried to savor another five minutes of peaceful slumber. In a groggy haze, I signed in to my MyFSU IP account and looked at the clock, which read 7:58 a.m., and I clicked FL-03, making sure it was Broad Curriculum. As soon as my 8 a.m. alarm went off, I could go back to sleep peacefully in a few clicks.
I was admitted! I was overjoyed and nervous. It didn’t seem real at the time. I don’t think I even realized I would live in Florence until I was on the flight there. I remember crying to my parents and being anxious on the flight. My mind was filled with questions of whether this was the right decision or if anyone would even like me.
Reflecting on my twelve weeks in Italy, I can only say they improved me. Studying abroad forced me to learn to be independent and adventurous and to do things I would never expect myself to do. While these are all a part of the experience, it seriously does change you. When can you ever casually see the Duomo after a night out? I was seriously blessed with the people and experiences it brought me.
While abroad, my friends and I were able to plan and budget nine different trips. I can thank the friends I made along the way for forcing me to be curious and adventurous. I don’t think I would have jumped off that 60-foot cliff in Croatia or gone paragliding in Switzerland if it wasn’t for the encouragement of my friends. Even the tiny things — like walking to class and seeing the old buildings while the distant sound of a piano echoes because someone is practicing with an open window — are fantastic. Going to a jazz club and hearing locals perform, as well as seeing the skyline at Flo Club, were unforgettable memories. From big to small experiences, I really appreciate all the time I spent there.
If you are ever wondering whether or not to go abroad, please do it! It is the experience and adventure of a lifetime. It has taught me so much about myself and about traveling. I also learned how to pack a single backpack for a weekend (or wear many layers and hide bags under your sweatshirt). Thank you, RyanAir. Learning about and observing different types of people and how they live is fantastic. Studying abroad allows you to meet FSU students you would have never thought to be friends with and meet locals who can broaden your views. I would have never thought that I could live abroad until this experience. Be willing to be curious and learn; the world really is your oyster.