It has been a while

And I don’t have a good excuse for it other than everything has been a whirlwind of emotions, amazement and studying. But I am going to be honest about my reality of studying abroad; it is incredibly hard.

I think I’ve gotten over the main hump of culture shock, I’ve been here for a month and a half. There isn’t much the culture here can shock me with. I’ve moved into the acceptance phase of it all, and I’ve been doing my best to soak it all in, but my homebody ways and my anxiety make it hard for me to want to adventure past my little neighborhood. I do it occasionally, but it takes mental preparation and will power to get there.

Two weeks ago I went with my program to Naples and Capri and that was amazing, even with the horrid downpours of rain. Capri was absolutely stunning and I hope I can go back there one day. It was the perfect mix of posh window shopping and beach town for me. However, when the floods from the rain are rushing past your kneecaps, it’s hard to enjoy the beauty around you when you’re trying not to drown.

Last weekend I went to a soccer game and a chocolate festival. The game was significantly tamer than I expected (of course we got the one game where fans are on strike) and I was a bit disappointed with European Soccer. I wanted rowdiness and a reason for drinking cheap beer, and I was met with people sitting down and clapping for each team. It was strange.

The chocolate festival (Eurochocolate 2015) was amazing, but it was almost too chaotic. Tell a bunch of human beings to show up in two square blocks of city for chocolate, and they will bring everyone they have ever known and their mother. It was overcrowded, but it was uplifting because there were families and children and puppies and all the little things that make me happy in one place, and they were all covered in chocolate (even the dogs because there is a doggy-safe chocolate brand in Europe!).

Even with the dud of a sporting event, the weekend proved to be fun and interesting.

This weekend I will spend my last full weekend in Rome. The rest of my weekends I will be traveling to various places, which I’m sure will bring significantly more interesting blog posts. This weekend will be used to do homework, yes homework, and play catch up with my academics.

Believe it or not, boys and girls, studying abroad does actually mean studying, or at least in my program it does. I have spent a significant time with my nose in a book or on my computer writing articles for my journalism class. I also took it upon myself to take intermediate Italian and that has proven to be quite the challenge for me as it’s been quite some time since I took formal Italian. The Italian school system (even in an Americanized school) is quite different than it is in America, and I don’t stand alone when I say it is harder than American schools. I cannot wait to come back to non-lecture based classes and the professors at Drake. I need some action in my classrooms. I need a tap class.

I do believe that is all the catching up I have to do. Unfortunately I haven’t much exciting news for anyone, but my life will pick up after this weekend with my first trip since Oktoberfest.

Stay tuned, kiddos.

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