April 10th, 2015
This week I’ve been looking through pictures from throughout the year, organizing my room, and starting to mentally prepare to leave the JFRC in exactly three weeks. I can’t believe it’s already been nine months. Of course it is always this way -I’m not talking about all the other time’s I’ve lived abroad… I mean that every time a year or something ends, it suddenly feels like it all went too fast. But going through the year, time didn’t fly as fast as it seems like it does now. Something that’s stuck out in my head from the very beginning of our time here in Rome, are all the lectures we listened to from our advisors and the staff here at the JFRC. They kept telling us that this would be a “transformative experience”. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with Rome Starter’s who are coming next year, and I find myself telling them this story because I was hesitant to believe it myself at first. Now in mid-April I understand what they meant. It’s been a gradual process but with everything that’s happened –the good and bad- it most definitely has been a transformative experience in more ways than we realize right now. I firmly believe that once we leave, as sad as it will be, that will be the time we can begin to fully understand how this year in Rome has changed us all.
I find myself wanting to go to my favorite places more, and trying to value my time here to make the most out of the last few weeks we have here. I’ve been focusing on perfecting my travel arrangements for May because I will be traveling Italy on my own for a couple weeks, then meeting up with friends in Sicily and Prague. I don’t want to focus too much on May because I don’t want to miss out on the time we do have left here.
In the beginning of the year, Susana Cavallo who is not the Dean of Students anymore, but was last semester, told us that the Rome Starters would be like a family by the end of the year. To be honest, we were all a bit skeptical at first because although most of us got along in the beginning, the dynamics of all our relationships have changed a lot from the start. We have learned a lot from each other despite (some) of our differences and I wouldn’t change that. This experience has been “transformative” partly because of each other.
I feel so fortunate to have had this experience, and although it’s bittersweet that our time here is ending soon it was an unforgettable year that I wouldn’t change for the world.