Yesterday I had my last two finals!!!!! I’m done – I just finished my first semester at Loyola!!! I’m also lucky enough to be able to say that I spent my first semester in Rome. I have been so happy in the last four months. I’ve been homesick at times, even sick at times, but no matter what, I have always felt the people here took care of me as if we were a big family. I never felt alone here; there is always someone to talk to. If you miss friends back home, you can use the Skype room on campus and talk to them at any time. The time goes so fast you hardly notice!
Nowadays there’s a strange atmosphere here in the hallways: it’s both stressful and sad. People are studying like crazy for final exams while at the same time realizing that they are approaching their last days in Rome. What’s really strange for me is that when I come back from Ecuador after the holidays, there will be different people here on campus. While all the Rome Start students study in Rome for the entire academic year, many of the study abroad students come for only a semester. I’m so used to seeing the same people in the rooms next to my room, and in one month from now, everything is going to be different: new people, new classes, and most importantly, new experiences.
This semester I have learned so many new things, both in my classes and out of class. I’ve had invaluable experiences just walking around Rome or traveling around Europe. The most important lesson I learned in the past four months, however, is that you must enjoy every moment in life no matter what.