Lasts and Firsts

By: Lauren Sibole, Marist Italy FFE, 2013-14

This past weekend, the FFEs took a trip to the beautiful Lake Como. This would be the last trip of the year where we were all together as a group. We headed to Como on a five and a half hour bus ride. We first arrived in Menaggio, and stayed at the only hostel available in Como! We then went on the ferry ride to Bellagio, and hiked up to a falconry. We went to an old castle that was surrounded by trained falcons and owls. As we watched the show, we watched the falcons and owls fly around us. I got within ten feet of an owl, it was amazing. We headed back to the hostel for a BBQ dinner. As we all sat and ate the BBQ dinner together, I thought about how far we had come together as a class. I reflected on our first interactions together in Tuscania. Our small little group of brave freshmen were put together, none of us knowing each other; it is strange to think how comfortable we all have become around each other. It is strange to consider them my family here. Although we all may have our own friend groups, it doesn’t stop us from coming together, playing games in the hostel like connect four, and having each other’s backs. As my time in Italy comes to a close, I cannot express how much I appreciate this program, the opportunities I have had, and the memories I have made with my fellow FFEs. I cannot imagine spending my freshman year any other way, with any different group of amazing people.

While this weekend was a lot of lasts, I look forward to all of the firsts we will be experiencing in the next few months. From leaving Italy, to starting a new year at college back in New York, it will be a challenging change; but it is comforting knowing I have the people I’ve met here doing it all with me as well.

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