FOXTALK Winter 2014 - page 20

20 Winter 2014
STUDY ABROAD
Digital media major spends
first year in Florence & breaks
out of her comfort zone
THE WALLPAPER
on
my cell phone quoted
Neal Donald Walsch: “Life
begins at the end of your
comfort zone,” on top of
an artistic photograph. It
was symbolic of what was
to come, as it was the week
before my freshman depar-
ture for college. Stumbling
across that quote seemed
somewhat divine because it
fully defined my fluctuat-
ing emotions about leaving
home for the first time.
However, I was not par-
taking in the average fresh-
man college experience.
There was no packing up
the family van with my Bed
Bath and Beyond purchases
because I wasn’t going just
a few hours away to college
or even across country. I
was changing more than my
area code. I was changing
my time zone and my coun-
try of residence.
As a small town girl from
rural Pennsylvania, I was
electing to spend my entire
freshman year abroad in
Florence, Italy. It was “got
your passport?” “How
many pounds does that bag
weigh? “Do you have your
camera, international cell
phone, Euros?” Recogniz-
ing that I was soon to leave
all that was familiar, I was
naturally expecting to feel
lost, scared and very un-
comfortable at times. What
I did not expect was to find
myself on foreign land in
the midst of strange, yet or-
dinary activities, and loving
every minute of it.
From the moment that
I arrived in Florence I
discerned that everything
BY JULIA MEINSTER ’16
Photos courtesy of Julia Meinster, ‘16
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