“Memories last forever, never do they die, Friends stick together and never really say Goodbye” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

19 Jun

As my program in Florence comes to a close, I look back on my time here and realize that there is one aspect that makes all of my memories so special;  the people. Every memory and every laugh revolved around someone in our group. Whether it was a witty pun or reminiscing about past experiences, I could always count on someone to make my sides split. It then occurred to me that these rag-tag group of people would not have existed had it not been for the unity and comradery that Florence attracts.

We all came from different backgrounds. From engineers to liberal art majors and from Greeks to non-Greeks, Florence united us all. It brought out the best in each person and as our group integrated into Italian culture so did each of us into one another’s lives. As our group began to explore unfamiliar territory in Italy we began the same journeys in ourselves. I know that I have become a more reflexive person since my arrival. I focus on how others make me feel and how each experience makes me who I am. Each new adventure allows me the pleasure of looking back and saying I learned something about myself. Each of us was encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and as we did we evolved into a family. Every memory has strengthened our Florentine family and brought us closer. From the late nights on the Arno River to the sunrises over Florence, I have bonded with each member of my study abroad group. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that many of us would have never crossed paths at Purdue. I am so grateful to have made so many wonderful friends and I have Florence to thank.

Florence has shown me that change is never a bad thing and every memory is better when it is shared with someone else. As I walk the streets of Florence, I usually listen to music. It seems as if my iPod knew exactly what to play at each moment, and as I thought about what to write, a quote from one of my favorite songs chimed in my ear. “Turns out it’s not where, but who your with that really matters.” Although this quote implies that we are somewhere stale and boring, our group would not be what it is today without Florence.


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