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Thursday, February 25, 2016

10 days till 20

I have approximately 10 days and counting to be as reckless as possible during what I have left of my so called 'teen' years. Coming over to Europe and having to constantly have the 'omg you're 19?! but you don't look 19' conversation has obviously gotten old. Being a teenager, age wise, isn't what I'll miss about being a teenager, but rather the things I managed to do in the last 2 years of being a 'teenager' in college.

I was extremely ready, mentally and emotionally, for college. Whenever people would ask my mom if she was worried about me, she'd say, "No, she's ready. She's been ready." And she was absolutely right. Being independent and driven in high school doesn't really mix. You're constantly told to have dreams and aspirations, but to put them in a box until you're 'grown up' and it's the 'right time.' I was tired of being told I had to wait to do things- that I wasn't ready- that I would understand 'one day.' What people didn't realize is that I was ready, I had been ready. I was ready for something bigger and better and more conducive to being on my own.

When senior year hit, growing pains were imminent. I wished away every second of that year, and only dreamed of college. I didn't take in my last homecoming, sucky football season, or last AP classes. I didn't care that high school was ending and I didn't care that I would be going over 8 hours away to college. All I cared about was leaving.

After graduation, I hit the ground running.

Every single thing anyone had told me I couldn't or wouldn't do became first on my priority list. At the time I had no idea it was even happening. It's not like I sat in my dorm room at night and analyzed my progress since high school. But, looking back on it now, I was one hell of a teenager.

There's something to be said for having to experience adult things on your own when you aren't really an adult. Going to college when you're 18/19 is one of the strangest experiences because you're basically forced into fake adulthood. I didn't know a soul at Clemson. I had done my laundry on my own since middle school, but that was about all I had going for me. I didn't drink in high school, no serious boyfriends, and no extremely wild child moments.. straight and narrow and focused.

I guess straight and narrow did me well, because I landed at my dream school (go tigers). And my freshman year I had the pleasure of experiencing everything everyone that goes to college will understand.

Crying on the phone with my mom because I had strep and felt like the life had been sucked out of me. Dealing with the ghosts of relationships past. Realizing that college guys are no better than high school guys, there's just more of a selection. Finally cutting people out of my life that held me back. Losing crappy friends and replacing them with even better ones. Going to every free event I ever heard about (even when it was an indoor cookout lol). Experiencing dining hall food and finally realizing my mom was a good cook. College making me miss home, and home making me miss college. Learning that college football will make anyone a football fan. That first Christmas break where I expected everything to go back to how it was in high school, except everyone had new lives, better lives, and instead I learned that 'home' means family, not friends. That college friends and high school friends are completely different and that keeping up long distance friendships is no joke. Sometimes looking out for yourself, and only yourself, is the best and only option you have. What everyone else is doing is not necessarily what's best for you and your life. And, most importantly, you should always do what's best for you and your life. You're a teenager- be selfish, you're creating your life and for that you answer to no one but you.

After the basics were over, things got real- fast.

Fighting for what I wanted became the epitome of fall 2015. I did everything possible to keep my life intact and functional. I cut more people off. More specifically, I realized that blocking someone on social media isn't immature. It gives you the power to push someone out of your life when they don't have the common sense and maturity to walk away themselves. I stopped fighting for people that didn't want to stay in my life and I stopped mourning the people that walked out of my life too easily without realizing what they were losing on the way. I pulled the people I cared about closer to me. I learned to value someone when they were loyal, trustworthy, and honest. I learned life doesn't wait for anyone, and things go on regardless of if you're okay with them or not. I bought plane tickets home, not because I was homesick, but because after 19 years I finally valued my parents relationship and genuinely missed them. I stopped giving third and fourth chances to people that barely deserved them and gave second chances to deserving people instead. I stopped answering 'I miss you' texts from the people that decided to feel guilt years after they originally hurt me. I started valuing what people brought to my life while they were there rather than what they took from me when they left. I accepted my sorority sisters as the amazing people that they are- and took steps to make uninformed people more open to greek life. I spoke out about domestic violence and started speaking more frequently about women's rights. I took political quizzes, watched debates, and didn't fall into the 'I'm voting for blah blah because my parents are' trap. I closed a business I put a year and a half of my life into because I didn't love it anymore. I booked my flight to Italy and decided to spend spring semester abroad. I looked at my savings account and realized that I would rather spend whatever I could afford on experiences, on travel, on everything I always wanted to than anything material/tactile.

Some painfully hard realizations, breakups, and makeups later- life wasn't high school anymore. There's something so innocent about coming to college, then being able to look back and laugh at yourself and all the expectations you had. I thought I was an adult coming to college, but I had no idea what I was in for.

Being abroad has been eye opening, but coming here I was already the best possible version of myself. There's something to be said for becoming more of who you already are, but there's even more to be said for becoming that person in the first place. So thank you- to my parents, to my friends, and to Clemson University for making me who I am now in this moment.

So here's to you 20- you have a hell of a woman coming for you. I hope you're ready.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Prague on da blog {Florence Files}


Shelby and I left Thursday for an amazing weekend trip to Prague through Bus2alps. I honestly thought Prague was its own country until about a month ago, so needless to say I had no idea what I was getting into. I somehow managed to fit everything into a backpack and small tote (mom are you proud??) We left around 9PM on a coach bus with over 100 American students. The bus ride was 100% the worst part of the entire weekend, as I expected. 12 hours one way was brutal, going wasn’t too bad since I actually slept for most of it and I was so excited for my first big trip! We stopped at a gas station for a snack, which was probably the most chaotic thing I’ve ever attempted to do at 2 am with a crowd of 100+ people in a teeny tiny space. PowerAde and an Italian lunchable later (literally bread crackers, salami, and mozzarella- if I wasn’t so tired at the time I would’ve taken a picture) we were back on the road.

We got to the hostel around 9 Friday morning and had a couple hours to freshen up. The hostel was SO much nicer than any of us were expecting (it’s the Czech Inn- it’s a great great place!). It was honestly more like a 4 star hotel, just with bunk beds. The showers were huge and open and modern.. the windows were massive and the pillows took up half of the bed. We actually had to leave our personal pillows on the bus because apparently they have an issue with people stealing their pillows because they’re so nice (LOL). We had a super Euro breakfast (yogurt, cereal, & bread), but the crepes, eggs, and sausage stole the show.

At 12 we met up with our tour guide and started our walking tour. I usually hate walking tours and was dreading it to be honest, but Isaac (our tour guide) is easily my favorite human ever. He was vulgar, sarcastic, and made crude jokes, but he also knew what he was talking about. I actually learned a ton on the tour and love that I know a decent amount about Prague now. If it wasn’t for taking that tour I would’ve walked around, stared at pretty buildings, said “cool” and kept going. Traveling is pretty meaningless if you don’t take the opportunity to learn about where you are. If that’s you, save the money and go to bars at home. It doesn’t make sense, but I’ve seen a lot of people that do this. They come on tours and leave early or text the entire time and it is completely pointless to me. Stop acting like a millennial. If I paid for it, I’m going to go and I’m going to do everything on my end to love every moment of it.

The buildings in Prague were undeniably beautiful and it was interesting to see buildings from the communist era directly by old and historic gems. It was a true representation of what the city/country had been through and how far they  have come from those days. I was extremely grateful to have a little bit of Americana around every corner.. Starbucks, McDonalds, and Subway to name a few. Also, KFC is apparently super popular in Prague? I have no clue why, but more power to them. I legitimately ran from the tour to Starbucks when we got a break. I had a pistachio rose coffee (totes not a thing back home and it was the strangest thing I’ve ever tasted).. I can’t begin to describe the flavor of that coffee, but I didn’t want to be basic and get a caramel macchiato so shrugs. It was also 119 koruna (Czech money pronounced crown, but I called it corona the whole weekend it’s fine really) which is about $6 so I cried a little, but totally worth it.

Getting back home after the tour took every inch of logic. Let me just say that your 5 years of Spanish or 3 years of high school French will absolutely not help you decipher Czech.. It’s a language that I can’t even imagine learning if you didn’t grow up there. The tram in Prague is a really popular source of transportation and we couldn’t remember basically anything about how to use it. So we trekked the 2 ish miles back to where we got off (shoutout to Isaac for making things meaningful enough that I recognized them). Moral of the story, we got back fine and gained 10 IQ points. For dinner we had kebabs, which I was convinced I’d hate, but it was truly amazing amazing amazing.

That night we went to an old WWII war bunker that was converted into a bar. You walk in and there’s a bunch of tunnels connecting rooms and it goes on forever.. Probably the coolest thing I’ve been in since I’ve gotten to Europe. The ventilation was 0 though and smoking over here is 150% always a thing, but the scariest part is I’m getting used to it now. We headed off to a Czech club after that. It was 5 stories and every level had different music- hip hop, throwbacks, oldies etc. The strobe lights and just everything in general was insane. Came back at 2 and I definitely fell asleep in what seems like milliseconds.

Up at 9, breakfast, another day of tours.

We fed swans, saw some weird statues, and went to the Lennon wall. Aka perfect instagram spot, stayed there way too long, took more selfies than I care to admit, and got a crap ton of prof pic options. Definitely 10/10 recommend for you artsy souls. Basically, John Lennon’s portrait and lyrics were painted on the wall to protest communism and promote peace. Communists of course got pissed (saw that coming) and spray-painted over it. Today, there are some lingering parts, but a lot is just covered with rando writing and inspiring things people have written. My favorite was, “wherever you are, be all there.” The quote definitely hit home with me, just in general for the abroad experience and in Prague specifically.

*Off to a traditional Czech lunch that was amazing.*

I passed on the dark beer, but was totally into the mushroom soup. I’m borderline obsessed with soup and cannot find normal soup to save my life in Italy so this was exciting for me. We had goulash, which is basically bread dumplings and yummy beef stew. I was so happy to have some protein. I love you Italy, but..

I’m sick of pasta. I need meat.

We headed off to see the oldest medieval castle, which also included a view of the city. Then, we set off to H&M to get outfits for the pub-crawl we were going to and grabbed kielbasas hot dogs for dinner (thank gosh- I’ve missed hot dogs so much already). We got home much easier this time, shoutout to our brains, & started getting ready for the pub crawl. 10 minutes into standing and waiting for the tram to go to the first bar I ran up and changed from heels into boots.. actually an idiot. We paid 20 euros for unlimited sangria, wine, and beer from 9-10:30 then liquor until 11:30 and a free tshirt. The tshirt sealed the deal for the sorority girl in me. Another underground extremely awesome bar that just so happens to be owned by our tremendous tour guide Isaac. Transition to the next bar with free welcome shots, then another bar/club combo where we danced with a French couple that were arguably the two coolest people I’ve ever met. They taught me how to say “I love pickles and chicken.” J'aime les cornichons et le poulet- I’ll never forget it. J

They made me realize how incompetent we are for just speaking one language when they switched between English, French, and Spanish.. yep my kids have to be at least bilingual. It’s a growing feeling that just keeps consuming more of my thoughts. In my Italian class my professor went around and asked if anyone spoke any other language besides English. You guessed it, no one. It makes you feel inadequate because you know you are a smart enough person to be able to be at least bilingual. But the thing is, these people aren’t just bilingual.. They’re multilingual. The French couple we danced with said not to worry, that if you had to know a language it would be English. The thing is though, that’s why we only know English. We go abroad and expect the locals to know English. It’s a crutch that we have absolutely abused.

Ok, I’m done with my rant now. (maybe)

If you go to Prague-
1.     Stay at the Czech inn
2.     Go to the underground bars
3.     Skip the clubs if you don’t want to pay a cover- it’s nothing extremely special
4.     Eat goulash
5.     Take a walking tour. Otherwise, you won't know what you’re looking at.
6.     Know that Prague is a city in the Czech Republic
7.     Go to the Lennon wall
8.     Save money by getting a kielbasa hot dog at a food truck for like $4
9.     Take advantage of Starbucks, but don’t be the annoying American that only eats at American things
10. “Wherever you go, be all there.”

All in all, thank you Prague for a weekend of history, hot dogs, and hangovers. Thank you for giving a piece of American culture I was craving and reinforcing my thoughts on forcing my future blonde babies to be multilingual. Thank you for introducing me to a caring and genuine couple that reassured me that not (everyone) hates Americans. Thank you for allowing me to have a weekend with my amazing new friends and giving me a huge fluffy pillow. And, thank you for having Pringles.

Week 2 deets coming soon!


PS check out my video of our weekend in Prague on Facebook! :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 1 recap {Florence Files}

*Feb. 1, 2016- Adventure time! Today’s the day. Leaving Washington at 6:40PM and getting into Paris at 8. Connection leaves at 10 and I’ll be in Florence around 12. My roomie, Shelby, gets in from Amsterdam at the same time. We booked a private car from the airport because with so many students coming in the wait for a taxi could be up to an hour.. lol no thanks. Just taking in some comforts of home the last day- my big queen bed, own bathroom, my cute puppy, & spending some time with my parents. Oh, and getting a sweet tea from CFA of course. ;) insert drive to the airport Per usual getting to DC was a total and complete disaster and aged me about 5 years. My parents both took off of work to drop me off and we said quick goodbyes (those are the best). Thank goodness for upgrading to premium economy because 2 checked bags for free and 3 carry ons.. plus priority line for check in. The other line was wrapped 3 times around and down a hallway… pure insanity. TSA went quick and I grabbed some questionable chicken tenders from a restaurant. Air France is always nice for international flights- their food is actually good. Probably got about 3 hours of sleep, but that’s to be expected.

*Feb. 2, 2016- After 2 uneventful flights (thank gosh), I got to Florence!! Met with my roomie perfectly fine and our private driver was my savings grace. 4 overstuffed suitcases, housing orientation, and a crammed taxi later we got to our apartment. I was preparing myself for those tic tac sized apartments I always see on international house hunters, but our apartment turned out to be unusually huge. With 6 girls total, there are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Almost cried when I saw 4 floor to ceiling closets in our room and a dishwasher in the kitchen. There are huge windows in every room that boast gorgeous views of the city when you unlock and open the shutters. The best way I can describe it is European pretty. It’s not necessarily what I’m used to, but it’s a lot of space and very functional and efficient. The kitchen is also a lot wider than I expected and the washing machine isn’t in the kitchen- which I was preparing myself for. After unpacking and instagramming the views from our bedroom, we set out for a quick lunch. We discovered an amazing panini place right across the street from us. Going to the grocery store was quite the experience.. it’s kinda hard to grocery shop when everything is in another language. It was completely packed with people too, learned my lesson about going at night. A lot of Europeans go to the grocery store 2-3 times a week because everything is so fresh and it’s more efficient for them then doing big shops like we typically do. I’ve seriously been like once every other day, just to pick up this and that. We picked up essentials, discovered vegetables are cheap and that wine is cheaper than water. Ramen will run you about $2 for one pack and the smallest box of cereal you’ve ever seen is $3. Shampoo and basically any health/beauty product will cost you as much as your first born child. Eggs aren’t refrigerated and canned soup is not a thing here. It was definitely my first taste of culture shock, but I realized that their pricing strategies are way smarter than ours. Instead of overpricing fresh ingredients, they run you 50-70% less than unhealthy options with preservatives. It makes sense in a country that is renowned for fresh food and cooking. Conad brand is a generic brand and has become my best friend- although I can’t vouch for the $2 box wine.. We made fresh pasta with pesto and discovered that fresh pasta only takes 30 seconds to cook. Sleep was a joke the first night, but again, that was to be expected.

*Feb 3, 2016 Had my first ever espresso this morning because 8:30AM orientation session.. seriously who comes up with this schedule lol. Afterwards, I spent the day exploring the city with Shelby, my roomie. We just aimlessly walked around, got American pizza and SIM cards for our phone plans. Word of wisdom- Piccell sucks.. TIM is $70 for 4 months vs piccell for $160 + we got 4gb of data vs 1gb. Let me tell you data is amazing for using google maps to navigate the city!! For you directionally challenged people like me, this will become your lifeline.

*Feb 4, 2016 Finally some SLEEP. Our room is a literal black hole because the shutters are wood and block out every bit of light. So nice to sleep in and have some time to recover!! Clemson orientation today went over safety/school basics and we got our final schedules and more important info like permit of stay guide, which let me just preface by saying it is the biggest pain in the ass. J Fancy fancy fancy pants dinner held by our program at a hotel… seriously chandeliers as big as a small bedroom. Made me laugh that we got a ‘one glass of wine’ card at the dinner- we all know someone would have gotten beyond hammered if not.

*Feb 5, 2016 Last orientation at 9, then we swung by the leather market.. and stayed awhile. Scooped a Hermes birkin bag look alike for $50 and some gifts for my friends back home. Also ordered custom leather jacket.. so excited for my jacket + gold zippers & not silver. The leather here is so much better quality and cheaper than back at home. I can’t pass it up!! The leather jacket was an investment I will not regret- plus who wouldn’t love to say that they got their jacket custom made in Florence?! I’m probably going to become a victim to the leather market. I know I wanted to purchase leather boots, sandals, a satchel, and a wallet before leaving. The shopping here is just so easy and accessible.. it’s so dangerous. Went to Gusta pizza for dinner and my taste buds have never been more satisfied.. seriously AMAZING.

*Feb 6, 2016 Day trip to Pisa!! The best part about Florence is how centrally located it is in regards to popular cities to visit within the rest of Italy. Before I came, my mom gave me some simple/extremely relevant piece of advice- while I was rushing to plan weekend trips across Europe, she said, “Devin, don’t forget about the country you’re in too- don’t discount Italy.” She was so right, and it really opened my mind to the possibilities of day trips throughout Italy. The BEST part is it is so cheap to travel within Italy.. it was only $10 one way to Pisa. Overall, with lunch included, I spent $36 total on the day trip. Pisa is a city that I’m glad I can now check off of my bucket list, but I was underwhelmed by it looking back. Part of the reason being that Florence is such an entertaining city to be in.. every corner has a cute shop, café, or architecture that leaves you speechless. Pisa is really just the leaning tower of Pisa… and in all honestly the 2 buildings that you NEVER hear about that surround the leaning tower were actually way prettier and more impressive. It took about 15 min to take some cute super touristy leaning tower pics and then it was time for lunch. There’s a tour to go to the top of the leaning tower- but I’m not sure how worth it it would be. Overall, cute touristy spot, but I wouldn’t go again and I wouldn’t go if it were out of my way.  On our way back from the train station we stopped by a cute shawl shop and got handmade cashmere shawls. It’s so cold here that all the Italians wear huge shawls wrapped over their puffer coats- and we wanted to be just as comfy chic as them.

*Feb 7, 2016 Well…. We slept in until 2PM oops. The first Sunday every month in Florence museum entry is free if it’s a public museum. We figured we’d take up the offer and tried to get into the Gucci museum, but it was private and so it wasn’t free. I’ll be going with my marketing class in April so I decided to just take advantage of a free museum instead of paying for entry. We stopped at the next museum only to discover we had to pay for tickets to enter.. ok bummer, but we wanted to do something in Florence so we just went for it. After standing in line for 2 hours to get into the exhibit we were told we had bought the wrong ticket. Total fail of a day, but it was the best learning experience because for the first time I actually felt like a dumb tourist. Needless to say our next museum trips will be researched and planned in advance.

First week is down & everything so far has been positive & enlightening! This week is my first official week of classes- blog post will be up this weekend with details on my classes & what I like/don’t like here vs in class at Clemson!

Happy Tuesday!



Saturday, February 6, 2016

first week recap {florence files}

4 full days in and it feels like I've been here a month.. in the best of ways.

For the first day, I walked around and felt like I was on a movie set in Hollywood. It still hasn't fully hit me that I'm not in the states, but after taking a day trip to Pisa with my roomie and conquering the Italian train/bus systems it's safe to say I'm hooked on Italy.

Everything here is just different enough to make you stop and question it, but not enough to make you feel completely uncomfortable. After 4 days of constantly pulling doors to open them (they're push over here) and trying to figure out how the heck to get into our apartment without soliciting the help of passerby's I'm finally getting the hang of it.

If I've learned anything it's that if you want the most out of your study abroad experience you have to change your perspective. This isn't a vacation, it's an experience. 

The italian people are SO genuine and friendly. I've struck up conversation with dozens just within the past few days. Talking to shop owners is definitely my favorite I'd have to say.

I'm currently having a custom leather jacket made here in Florence by a well known leather maker. Alex took the time to leave his stand at the leather market and take me to his shop. We entered a room filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling just with leather jackets. This leather had to be the softest and nicest quality leather I'd ever seen.. it actually felt like butter. I tried on 3 jackets to see what fit best and decided on a black color with an angled zip. The reason I opted for custom is because typically leather jackets are not made with gold zippers- they are almost always made with silver. Alex was nice enough to agree to customize a jacket since I prefer gold. After I decided on what I wanted we chatted for about 30 minutes just about leather and how to tell when you're being ripped off, what makes good quality leather, how it's made etc. I loved learning more about something that's not as notable in the states and getting to know a local italian more.

It is SO cold here and the wind is unforgiving. Americans causally just walk the streets in coats, but you can tell the Italians apart because they wear huge shawls over their jackets... and they look so stylish, chic, and warm in the process. So, my roommate Shelby and I decided it was time to invest in shawls for ourselves. We wandered into a little shop just up the road from our apartment and found an older Italian woman inside. She did not speak any English, but helped us select the best colors for our skin/hair color and style the shawls. The shawls are handmade by her and are all cashmere. We pieced together what little Italian we know and she did her best with some basic English as well. It was a conversation filled with hand gestures and pointing, but it was so rewarding to experience. It made me realize that even cultural and communication barriers don't phase the Italian people- they're just content sharing their craft and what they're passionate about. I also found it extremely refreshing to see so many people doing what they love to do and being successful at the same time.

My 'what I've learned' log thus far-

  1. Cucumbers over here are bitter
  2. Fresh pasta cooks in 30 seconds
  3. Italian law states that the heat can't be on longer than 12 hours in a day
  4. Those 1 and 2 euro coins can really add up
  5. The wine is dry and moscato is hard to come by
  6. When you do come by moscato it tastes like vodka and syrup
  7. Wine has a 12% alcohol content as opposed to the normal 5-7%
  8. So yes, it's fine to be tipsy off of a glass.
  9. Which happens frequently because wine is cheaper than water
  10. Longchamp bags are cheaper here- they'll run you $80 for a large one 
  11. Cobblestones are no joke
  12. Europeans rock the sporty sneaker with super dressy outfit look
  13. The phrase 'so Euro' has never been more relevant 
  14. Everyone speaks 2+ languages aka never felt more inadequate 
  15. Earplugs are a must to sleep because busy streets
  16. Packing a fuzzy blanket from home is something you'll never regret
  17. Europeans use less preservatives so they go to the grocery store every 2-3 days 
  18. Handles on toilets are like not a thing.. look for the button
  19. Essie nail polish is $18
  20. Garnier Fructis shampoo is $6 (for a small bottle...)
  21. Eggs aren't refrigerated 
  22. Train tickets are valid for any time within the day 
  23. You have to validate your train tickets by getting them stamped 
  24. Google maps is my best friend bc Italian streets are something suuuurious 

These 4 days have been such a whirlwind of new experiences, people, sights, and flavors and I cannot wait to immerse myself more in the rich and beautiful Italian culture.

So that's my first week y'all!! if you wanna see my fave pics of the week :) + stay tuned for a detail filled with my daily log of activities and our Pisa day trip!


Monday, February 1, 2016

What to expect when you have no clue what to expect (Florence files)

Control, control, control. *deep breaths*

Over a year and a half of planning has come down to this night, tonight.

Two suitcases, one carry on, & a purse.

Laptop history? Pinterest packing guides, travel companies, & every well known travel blog to grace the earth.

3 cardigans, 4 sweaters, 2 pairs of boots.

10 dresses, 3 sandals, 2 shorts.

4 pairs of sunglasses, 2 packs of Kraft mac & cheese, 1 jar of peanut butter.

No photos or decorations. Just my future 4 months staring at me.

547 days comes down to this.

So why Florence? Why Italy?

I'll give you the answer you'll be annoyed to hear- I've ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy. It's been an all consuming thought in the back of my mind from the moment I discovered study abroad programs in high school.

I was blessed to be raised by parents that love to travel. I've been to pretty much every Caribbean island, most states that aren't square, and Canada 4 times. I've been to Europe, but I was 14 and I didn't appreciate the art or the history. I'm not saying I even will now- but at least I'll try.

Prage, Croatia, Interlaken, Ireland, Budapest, Capri, Corfu, Athens, London, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Naples, Venice, Rome, Pisa, & Milan- I can't wait to check you all off of my bucket list this semester.

I'm studying fashion marketing, international marketing, literature, italian, and wine tasting (yes that's actually a thing and yes I'm getting 3 hours of credit for it).

I won't say I'm not scared because I am.

It's ballsy to jump on a plane by yourself and go to a country you've never been to and live with people you've never met for experiences you've always dreamed of.

Dear Florence, I can't wait to meet you tomorrow at 12PM.