Just kidding mom and dad, my tuition is going to something of importance.

Today is the 3-month mark of my departure from the States (I know, so European), and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown…especially this last week, because I spent most of it asleep (you kicked my butt, parents!).

Post-departure of the parentals, my week was full of much-needed rest. From Tuesday to Friday, I slept, ate, went to class, did a little TLC, and put all of this on repeat (with a few glasses of vino thrown in here and there).

A little bit o’ migraines kept me from some studies a bit, but a little relaxation was all that was needed.

Saturday night I did come out of my bat cave for a little while for some aperitivi with Rumi and Justyna, and all the cabin fever was cured with an overly-sweetened drink in a mason jar.

Unfortunately for my grades, on Sunday I found 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, a mini-series based on a book of the same name that I once read for summer reading in middle school, and let’s just say I finished that show faster than a fresh Italian pizza…it became an ADDICTION. For anyone interested in a life-changing story of teenage pain, choices, and emotions, this is the story for you.

I’m not even going to pretend Sunday and Monday were filled with anything else besides that show (alright, besides classes and some intense studying…but that’s not as interesting, right?), so let’s just fast forward, shall we?

On Tuesday after classes I had my grammar midterm which was full of some not-so-simple techniques of which we’ve studied before, but in a little more detail. Here’s a quick look at the type of exercises we work on for our wonderful teacher, Christine Dodd:

Not sure how it went, but I think I did pretty stinkin’ well.

That night I went to Sarah’s (mom’s) apartment with Ceci to help make an Indian dish of butter chicken (I can make but I can’t eat…sad!), do some homework, and just generally enjoy the company of my ladies. We watched Bedazzled, one of my favorite comedy movies from when I was younger, then slept off the brain-exhaustion of the day.

Wednesday was a long day of BCSP courses and studying, which ended with some comfort food at Piedra del Sole, the (somewhat) Mexican restaurant I visited previously with that strange gorilla?? Gregory, our favorite California-bred Mexican, was OFFENDED by my choice, but I still dragged him along, albeit with a lot of resistance. He obviously didn’t look too happy…

His presumptions aside, we both actually enjoyed the food, and cleared our plates easily. With a full belly, I passed right out.

And here we are today, three months after packing (and over-packing) two big duffles and heading off to an entirely different continent, 91 days after saying my goodbyes, quitting my social media, starting this blog, and beginning this journey, here we are.

It’s really hard to imagine that I’m over halfway through my time here in Bologna, but it’s a good kick in the butt to not waste the time I have left. I am blessed beyond words, lucky enough to have an experience that many in this world will never have the pleasure of participating in, so I have no right to take it for granted.

I started that mentality today by investing myself in my studies, spending six hours after classes studying with Greg for our two architecture/art finals next week (eep!). You’d be surprised how much not only your appreciation of your city increases by studying its history, but also your knowledge of the language just by reading (yes, all of our work is in Italian…molto intimidatorio).

This weekend is going to be spent studying, studying, and, oh yah, studying, but it’s also going to be a weekend of opening my eyes a little more to the place I’m lucky enough to call home, even if just temporarily. In the food, the drink, the ambience, the culture, and just everything that comes along with the name, I will invest myself whole-heartedly, no-holds-barred.

Three months later, and I’m still so grateful. Thank you to everyone who helped me get here, my university, my teachers, my family and friends, but most importantly my parents. I already miss you two so much, and I appreciate everything you do for me. Thank you for getting me here, and I can’t wait to see you in July!

Here’s to another great 3.




– Alex


PS: In the meantime, enjoy these uplifting images that can always get me through some stressful studies!