Everyone tells you that you'll be having too much fun studying abroad to miss home, and that's true for the most part. But there are some endearing parts of Connecticut College that I have found myself missing in the month that I have been in Italy:
1. Everything being ten minutes from your room, at the most.
At Conn, you can roll out of bed fifteen minutes before class and make it there with time to spare. At night, dinner and friends are just a quick walk away. When you leave all that behind and choose to study in a city in Europe, your feet and legs are in for a bit of a shock. Walking between classes can take twenty minutes, and maneuvering through the city is a workout without the help of public transportation. It's satisfying to have your phone tell you you've reached your step goal every hour, but I know my feet will be thankful to take on Conn's sidewalks after months and miles of cobblestones.
2. Sundae Sundays.
As annoying as it can be to wait in line only to find your favorite flavor has run out, having the candy at the toppings bar to sneak back to your room is worth it. Giving yourself gelato Sundays isn't so bad, though.
If you thought doing laundry at Conn took up time, you haven't gone abroad! Parts of Europe just don't believe in dryers. Some people are lucky enough to have a dryer built into their washing machine, but where I am, the living room has been filled with drying racks for days as the seven of us living in the apartment wait for our clothes to be at least halfway dry. Once we're back at Conn, getting to fold warm clothes straight out of the dryer is going to feel like a blessing.
4. Hearing the Coast Guard's cannons go off.
I hadn't even realized this was a sound I was so used to until the cannon on Gianicolo Hill in Rome went off on our first days here, and I was the only one not to jump. It goes off every day at noon, and every time I hear it I think of the boom that echoes across Route 32 from our neighbors at the Coast Guard.
5. The Harris staff.
They're so friendly; it's impossible not to miss them. The staff here in Rome is great, but nobody could replace the people working in Harris!
Camel cookies, camel waffles, camel-shaped decor everywhere you look in Cro... At Conn, our odd mascot is everywhere. Not only is it hard to find a single camel in European cities like Rome, but its hard to find good cookies and waffles, too!
7. Self-Scheduled Exams.
We haven't even had exams yet, but I know I'm going to miss being able to choose when and where I take my finals. The idea of the professor sitting in the room watching you struggle isn't a fun one, either. Life without the honor code making you feel comfortable leaving your backpack at the library overnight and allowing you to procrastinate until the last possible day of self-scheduled finals is going to be rough.
8. The Arbo.
Most people study away in cities, which aren't exactly the place to find a literal forest in your backyard, like we do at Conn. Taking walks around the water, lying in the grass during Arbofest, and exploring the rocks and nature paths are all serene moments you don't get very often living in a city unless you really go looking for them.
When it came to deciding between fall and spring for studying away, the fact that I would be missing Floralia at the end of the year was one of the first things I thought of. It'll be hard finding such a perfect way to end the semester outside Conn. I'll have to live vicariously through stories and pictures on Facebook.
10. Seeing your friends every day.
Whether you planned on hanging out or you just spotted them while walking to class, it's hard to go very long without seeing the same people at Conn. While studying away, you have to work around distance and time differences, deal with missing texts for hours, and arrange FaceTime and phone calls at odd hours. Most of your calls involve telling them to come visit you, though, so hopefully you'll see them soon enough.