Final week at JFRC

The final four days in Rome came way too quickly. Monday night we went out for dinner. We had hoped to eat at a rooftop bar, but it turns out the rooftop bar is really just a bar. We got a picture and left for a restaurant below.

It was another great laidback dinner with friends followed by gelato. This place was a little extra fancy and oh, so good. I got ricotta + cannoli biscuits and white chocolate + cereal. So. Good. But when haven’t I liked a gelato?

On Tuesday, my advertising class visited Leo Burnett’s Rome office. Leo Burnett is a major advertising agency based in Chicago. So, it’s kind of a big deal.

The director and head creative prepared a presentation for us explaining the ad agency as well as detailing the process of creating an advertisement. It was an awesome experience to see how ad agencies work, especially as a marketing student. This was unforgettable experience. Loyola rocks, yo.

That afternoon I did some further observations for my advertising blog and finished up my souvenir shopping. I didn’t get as many souvenirs as I had wanted, but my simplicity approach applies. I don’t want to take a picture of a church just because I can, just as I don’t want to buy my friends all a shot glass just because I can. Limoncello, on the other hand..

That night we went out for pizza at a place known as “not sbarro.” I’m officially done with this country’s pizza. I’ve had it too much, for one, but this was just heated up pizza. Nothing too special. This one had fries and bacon? I was starving so don’t worry I didn’t waste it, but I’m missing American food so much.

I’m finishing up all of my classwork, which luckily does not involve final exams. I haven’t written much about my classes but don’t worry I’m definitely studying here.

Thursday night we had a farewell dinner at a local restaurant for one final 5-course meal. Because we all need it. Hopefully this is the last time I will ever eat dinner for 5 hours.

After a beautiful speech by our friend, Sarah, to conclude our summer session together, we ate gelato by the Colosseum. These 2 quotes sum up our time together:

“Each day feels like a year, but the trip itself lasts 3 seconds.”

“It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the way.”

Each day felt so long. Sometimes brutal. Sometimes so action-packed and fun that I wonder where on earth this energy came from when I’m suffering through sinus infection upon sinus infection. So many experiences were made during this study abroad trip. However, it all went by so quickly. How is it already the end of June? How did I do so much in such a short amount of time? How did I eat so much gelato?? (Last one I promise)

This trip has been a reminder that each day is precious. While some days may seem routine and boring, each day offers a new experience, a new lesson, a new friend.

       I came to Europe with one of my best friends, Kelsey. I think it’s safe to say that we’re leaving as sisters. I wish more than anything we could have spent the next 10 days traveling together, but I can’t wait to hear about the rest of her journey. Thank you, Kelsey, for absolutely everything. You are the best, and I love you so much.

Along the way, I managed to meet so many other great friends. I share a major with a few and have never met them before, while others I may have never met if it wasn’t for this trip. We have shared so many laughs together, and I will always cherish our memories, from getting “Ischia-ed,” dancing at Shari Vari, adventures on the buses, or even laughing hysterically over old pictures in the IC. I can’t wait for our regular reunions this next year in addition to our Euro-union in a few years.

I hate goodbyes and usually just avoid them, but the sadness hasn’t even kicked in yet. I feel like tomorrow will be just another day going to class, eating in Mensa, doing homework, then going out for dinner and exploration at night. I don’t think it’ll hit me until I’m in Chicago getting honked at for trying to walk in the street, or when I’m in Jacksonville and can’t walk to the Vatican or the Spanish Steps. I’ll wake up from this dream when I’m home.

In typical Loyola fashion, this has definitely been a transformative experience. No, it was not just a European vacation. The amount I’ve learned in and out of the classroom is incomparable to anything else I’ve ever experienced. Til we meet again, Europe. Ciao ciao.

Veni. Vidi. Vici. // I came. I saw. I conquered.

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