Italy: The Carrot In Front Of My Face Through Finals

Italy: The Carrot In Front Of My Face Through Finals

Sometimes you just need to remember what is on the other side of the finish line.

All through high school my family talked about a family vacation right after my high school graduation, and as long as I could remember my heart was set on Europe. First the plan was a trip to Scotland. After many ups, downs, and planning fiascos senior year came and went and long story short, we didn't end up in Europe. Instead, we spent a nice quiet week in North Carolina. What was important was we were together.

Fast forward to this year, my family has concrete plans to head to Europe as soon as everyone is out of school. This time the plan isn't to head to Scotland, it is to head to Italy. Words can not describe how excited I am for this trip with my family.

Last time I was with my whole family for a long period of time was winter break. My heart longs just to be back with my family, the people who know me completely, my parents that raised and nurtured me, and my little brother, my very best friend.

I can't wait to explore a new country with the people who taught me my true sense of adventure. My sense of going out and finding the beauty of my surrounds, whether that is Savannah, Atlanta, North Carolina, or Italy. I want to be walking up and down the streets of Rome or Florence

My family has a bit of an issue that I have completely inherited as well. You see, we have to get away from home and from our responsibilities to feel like we are really getting away. My family is a family of workaholics. It's a strength and a weakness of course. We work hard and we get stuff done. But sometimes that also means we have to go thousands of miles away to take a break from the craziness of everyday life and our responsibilities.

So with exams coming up, Italy is the carrot in front of my face. Of course I want to do well on my exams and end the semester on a high note, but Italy is really pushing me forward. When I close my eyes I can almost smell the fresh pasta getting pushed through the sweet summer air.

I'm ready to head across the ocean after tying a nice ribbon on the end of this semester. I'm ready to celebrate getting through my first year of college and reflecting on everything that I've learned, mostly life lessons and less of things I actually learned in the classroom.

The plan is that after I reflect, I'll save those for later, probably closer to when classes start up again, either my summer classes or fall classes back at Emory. At that point I will enjoy the time I have with my family, away from all of our distractions of work and school. Out of cell service and an ocean away from our responsibilities.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything


Waking up bright and early we first took the tour bus to the country side of Florence where we visited a medieval town full of shops that lined a beautiful countryside.

CountrysideBrooke Burney

We spent about three hours here just looking around, buying things, and taking pictures. Once the three hours were up, we went to a winery where they explained how they made wine with the grapes in their vineyard.

In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.

Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.

Brooke Burney

After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.

Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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