Greetings from Florence Italy! Or as the Italians call this bustling art capital, Firenze. I’ve been here for almost a month now and I’ve already learned a lot about myself and about the world in which we live.
As I walked to my classes today, I thought about how different life in Georgetown is. In Georgetown you’re surrounded by a few buildings complemented by large patches of grass and pieces of the natural world. When you walk to class you pass familiar faces and places in which you have memories. In Florence, you must walk a decent amount to get from class to class as the classrooms are spread out throughout the city. You weave through throngs of people from all different nationalities, passing carts full of merchandise and postcards for tourists, storefronts littered with advertising and sales, you catch sights of the rounded top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo (which is always a good reference for figuring out where you are) and meander past tall buildings that have gracefully stood the test of time watching the streets and people change.
Visitors beware: Florence, a lovely woman with so many gifts to give those visiting, enjoys taking her time. Whether you’re traveling to a museum or desire to taste the world-renown gelateria “Grom” you’re going to wait in a line, but those who have spent time with her will tell you that she’s worth the wait.
That’s something that I’ve learned to enjoy about Florence… the process of slowing. So often, the students here get frustrated by the tourists who clog the sidewalks and stop abruptly… just as if we were back at home shaking our fists at drivers who slow us down. It’s frustrating to feel as though our time is being wasted. I think it’s human to always want to get to our destination because that’s where we have been taught the reward is. Would it be an interesting theory to consider that we are a little off in our perception of our reward?
Here’s what I’ve learned: If you embrace the dilemma with open arms and realize that there is something you can gain from the experience as well as the destination, your time is never wasted. I take a lot more time here to recognize small beauties because I am more patient with this foreign place. It’s new and full of new things to discover. I find myself ashamed to realize that I’ve missed so much at home by not being more patient with the dilemmas that I have found myself in.
I encourage you to consider studying abroad not only for the new horizons that you can discover but also because it puts where you’ve been and where you call home into a brand new frame of reference. Expand your mind. Slow down today and recognize something that you hadn’t before.
For more insights and discoveries of mine you can read my blog HERE.
To the seniors who have October Review coming up, work hard and put your heart into what you’re doing… you’ll do great!