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The Day That Lasted Forever

The Day That Lasted Forever

It may have been two. They blurred.

The day of the flight was bittersweet.

Last sunrise of my Chicago summer

I had built up all this excitement over the summer about leaving and going abroad and it was great. But that day I hung out with some of my friends for the last time until I didn’t know when because they graduated, and I had to say sad goodbyes to my roommates.

It was a normal Friday for the most part- I ran, I stretched and did some yoga because I didn’t have to hurry to my internship, and I had a really chill breakfast accompanied with my slew of podcasts. I finished packing all the last minute things I needed to and relaxed.
I had to take an Uber because I didn’t want to try and take the L with a checked bag, a backpack, and a wheeled carry-on. Imagine that.

The flight went how every safe, regular flight went. I never understand when people ask how my flight was. I slept, I read, I wrote a bit, I watched the movies on the plane. We landed in Germany then took off to Rome an hour or two later.

When we landed in Rome, the students were gathered and transported via bus to campus. Many people slept. And once we got there, everyone startled awake and bustled through check-in and throwing your bags into the rooms and quickly cleaning up before having to go to a meeting.

The rest of the first few days were really just full of meetings and told where to go, which in hindsight makes sense and I’m grateful they did that because it forced us to get used to the time difference. But at the time, it was tiring and people were less than willing to do much of anything we were told to do.

Related image

It was a full week of going to meetings and following orientation leaders and sitting while people talked and informed us about stuff on campus.
It was hectic but it was good to get so much out of the way, to learn about the new campus as opposed to the campus I had become very familiar and comfortable with the one in Chicago after three years.

We went to so many places within the first weeks : the Spanish steps, the Vatican, a mass in a beautiful church (the church of St. Ignatius of Loyola) and a lengthy dinner to follow after, and different small towns with each group. My group went to Bolsena. It is an absolutely lovely lake town where the water crashes just slightly and there are plenty of streets to get lost wandering. The orientation groups broke off again to explore different parts of the city on another day. Mine went to the Borghese gardens right by the Spanish steps and it was stunning and filled with green, and the views were amazing.

It was after a “casual” outing my friends and I took on a free day for me to realize, Oh my gosh, I’m in Rome. I’m across the world from where I’ve been for my entire life.

And I couldn’t wait for more.

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