As finals are right around the corner, the idea of dropping everything and fleeing to a dream destination becomes harder and harder to resist. After having most of my friends going abroad throughout my junior year, I get asked a lot where I would have gone if I studied abroad. My immediate answer is always Italy.
I am so lucky to have such a culture that I have received from my Dad’s side of the family. We are a huge Italian family who keeps the traditions of our ancestors alive and well in our family. My dad, the youngest of his siblings, was the only child of my grandparents who was born in the United States. My other Uncles and Aunt were all born in a small town in Italy named Ripabottoni. My aunt and uncles stayed in Ripabottoni, Italy with my grandmother while my grandfather immigrated to the U.S. and worked for five years before being able to bring the rest of his family to the U.S. Although my aunts and uncles were in their teens or younger when they arrived in the U.S., they had a hard life. My family worked their asses off to support themselves and chase the American dream that they left their hometown for.
This family history is why I would give anything to up and run for Ripabottoni at the first chance I have. I want to experience the poor town where my roots are. I want to see the street where my family grew up, loved, and ultimately had to leave for the chance at a better life.
As I am stressed out of my mind and sleep deprived, I try to focus on the important things in life like my family and my culture instead of fixating on test grades and GPA. Especially after losing my Uncle six months ago, I have realized how important family and the little things in life are. I would love to escape the finals, RA duties, and talk of grad school for a chance to see Italy and all of the culture and significance it holds for me.
I hope that I get to run away to this amazing town one day, and I hope that everyone finds a place that they feel connected to and that you are willing to drop everything and go to. PS if anyone wants to pay for my trip to Italy, I wouldn’t mind 😊