After feeling burnt out at college, pulling 19-credit semesters, writing for every campus publication, balancing internships, barely dragging myself out of bed in the morning and chugging coffee to stay awake, I decided I needed a change. Travel was a large part of my childhood, and I decided to pursue a non-workaholic by moving to Florence, Italy for a summer and backpacking afterward.
My summer in Florence is signed, sealed and soon-to-be a reality—thanks to the Lost Girls encouragement—but here is how the idea of
Fresh out of high school, I came halfway across the country from Minnesota to New York chasing my dream of becoming a journalist. My friends and I embraced the exhilarating freedom of being “adults” and we grew up quickly, becoming fast friends. I did everything I could to keep up with the fast pace of college life, and before I knew it, freshman year was over.
Summer whizzed by and sophomore year started, but this time, everything felt so different. I flew back to school with one suitcase and unpacked my stuff from summer storage. I remember strutting into my dorm with a big grin on my face—we were seasoned college kids now. I knew the ropes and I was going to have a sweet year.
Then classes kicked in, and I was swamped. I frantically racked my brain—had I always had this much work? How was I supposed to write two papers in one night? Why was the library café becoming my second home? THIS WAS NOT HOW I REMEMBERED COLLEGE.
So a few months in, exhausted and downtrodden, my girlfriends and I decided that as sophomores we all felt, well, pretty much stuck. We were all weighed down with the in-between, “caught in the middle” feeling. Yikes.
I needed to take action fast before I melted away in the mundane blur my life had become. I wanted a future goal or short term plan that would keep me motivated. Also, the familiar ache of the travel bug was quickly becoming a gnawing hunger with every month that I stayed put in Syracuse. So I put two and two together and decided it was time to get unstuck.
I started looking into options and talking to SU Abroad counselors who gave me lots of great information on their summer programs. With my crazy schedule, a summer program was perfect timing, and I could take fine arts classes in Florence that would count toward my second major. Then I met the Lost Girls (pictured on the right) and they cleared up my internship concern. I fly out in two months and I am THRILLED. But making the decision to go and getting accepted to the program was just one tiny piece of the puzzle—I still have to prep: I need a passport, a visa, my wardrobe, a backpack, you name it.