Reunited and It Feels So Good!

groupby Patrick T Tobin, Marist Italy FFE 2013-14

“Reunited and it feels so good,” rang in my head the entirety of the weekend. This was the weekend that every member of First Year Seminar would travel to the Eternal City. This was the weekend that every FFE had waited for. This was the weekend that would reunite every single member of the Freshman Florence Experience. The first complete reunion since that week spent in the small town of Tuscania. However, we knew that this experience would be much different than our pervious one. Tuscania was hot chocolate compared to the three shots of espresso that Rome was about to be. We were about to face the great, yet enormous, monster that was Rome.

Even though most of us were exhausted, I could still feel the anticipation for the mega-reunion that was about to take place. But this wasn’t going to be any ordinary trip to Rome. Well, when is any trip to Rome in your freshman year of college as a fieldtrip for class ordinary? Anyway, we had a jam-packed schedule from the moment we arrived till the moment we departed to return to our beloved Firenze. We had opportunities that no other Art History students would ever have. We were given a fabulous guide for the Vatican museums and given special admission to the Sistine Chapel so we could be there without the sea of other tourists, students, and scholars. We went to see Capitoline Hill, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. All of these timeless, ancient wonders were on the itinerary and would have made any trip extraordinary. The cherry on top was enjoying every opportunity with all of the other FFEs.

In Tuscania, every member of Marist’s Freshman Florence Experience had five days to learn more about each other and create a bond that no sharp knife, flamethrower, or zombie apocalypse could ever break. Even if the undead infestation decided to start while we were in Europe, we already created a survival plan. This trip to Rome was like hitting the refresh button when browsing the Internet. We all were reminded of the great time we spent together in that little town. Normally, our family breaks up in Florence due to being in either of the two housing buildings. For the first time since Tuscania, we were able to come together as a group and enjoy the amazing weekend that Professor Lewis and other Marist staff had planned for us. Each moment was filled with reminiscing, catching up on each other’s lives, and laughing till it hurt. Laughing that weekend was the most intense workout I’ve done since before the five days in Tuscania. We walked all over Rome, seeing all the history that had taken place there. I started to think that in a way our group had it’s own history, even though it had only been three months since our first meeting. This weekend was the much-needed reunion of our group. Together we saw so much of the knowledge and beauty that Rome has to offer, and what a beautiful way to bring together all the members of one big adventurous family.

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