The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
How am I already a senior in college? If I really think about it, I feel wistful. I now live in a house with four other girls who I adore. I feel lucky and excited to spend my last semester with them. The past four years of my life have sped by, and the unknown future is closing in. This year, instead of spending my time worrying about how fast time passes, I wish to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned and the amazing memories.
My summer was anything but ordinary. It started off standard with watching pretty sunsets, seeing friends and working late nights. Then, in early July I set off for Italy. The five weeks I spent exploring, interning and eating seem so distant now that I’m back at school. I will most likely never get such an astonishing chance to see the world like that again, but I will try my best to make it happen again, someday. I met the most fascinating, beautiful individuals and visited the most breathtaking places that will stay in my heart and head forever. I also learned so much about myself in such little time. For once, I was truly independent. I considered myself independent before, but I discovered such a different kind of fresh, secure independence. Maybe it was the Italian air, too much wine or all the walking, but I felt at peace with myself and felt peace with the current chapter of my life. And then I realized I can carry that sense of independence with me my entire adult life. I will always be in control of that aspect of my life. I learned to trust myself and my confidence better. When I returned, I was utterly confused with my what happened to me. My loved ones saw the change within me too. The sudden push and pull of accepting myself and accepting what I learned. Now, I’m back in an environment that I’m used to, but for some reason, the environment I spent five weeks in taught me more about myself than the past 21 years did. It might sound insane, but a piece of me remains in the town I stayed in, and a piece of that town remains in me now.
Everything that happened during the summer before my senior year was intentional. I could write all about my experience in Sorrento, Italy, Rome, Florence, Capri, Positano and Dubrovnik, Croatia, but I can’t find words to describe how much those cities and towns influenced me. My final year is here, and I can’t wait to absorb what else I learn about the person I see in the mirror and the rest of the world.