Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, I had many thoughts of spending a semester abroad in Italy, the country from which my relatives emigrated around the turn of the 20th century.
I reasoned it would give me the opportunity to develop a better understanding of my family?s past while eating incredibly well.
Soon I received the surprising news that I had actually been accepted into the program. As the departure date drew nearer, I realized my true reasons for separating myself from friends and family: I was a sheltered momma?s boy from Savannah, New York, population 1,000, spending my college years amongst an ?overwhelming? population of 4,000 undergrads.
Granted, I like some people at UR, and it will be nice to hopefully have a diploma and maybe even master?s degree from UR, but I needed to grow up and really isolate myself from all my safety nets ? no friends, no family and above all no huntin? stuff.
What better way to do experience life on my own than to head to Italia, where the ladies are much prettier, but don?t seem to speak English ? a minor obstacle, and the wine ? not beer like Genny or Beast ? flows freely?
I don?t want to try to explain what being abroad is like, because it?s different for everyone.
What I do know is that the moment when the realization hits you that you can?t just jump into your ?88 Escort wagon and sputter home on a whim, it is both the worst feeling and the most valuable emotion one could possibly have.
In short, if you have the time and want to study abroad, it?s the best thing you could ever do for yourself. If you don?t have the time and don?t think you want or need to study abroad, make the time and quit lying to yourself. You?ll learn more about yourself in four short months abroad than you will in the other three and a half years of school at Rochester.
? Peter DrahmsClass of 2002