Words by Kiana Duncan

In preparation for the weeks ahead, I decided to stick around Florence and explore my Italian “home away from home.” After all, this was the last weekend I would be here until the end of the semester.

Unfortunately, it was also the week that homesickness decided to strike. There was a general mood around the school and an atmosphere around each of my roommates: a mutual longing.

I had once again assumed (Are you noticing a pattern yet?) that homesickness wouldn’t affect me at all. I wasn’t particularly in touch with my hometown, and college became more of my home than anything.

So here’s the thing: You don’t really get homesick for the things you think you will. I hate hot dogs, apple pie and fast food. (OK that last one is a lie. If you hate Wendy’s, please Google Maps your way to the unfollow direction.) For some reason, I thought homesickness turned you into a Cloyd Rivers-worshipping Facebook obsessing #Murican. But I was very wrong. In this order, these are the things my roommates and I have talked about missing the most:

  1. Applebee’s. Let’s move on.
  2. Dryers, because drying your clothes on a line gets old after approximately one time.
  3. Cars.
  4. Peanut butter.
  5. Pickles.
  6. Our pets.
  7. Bob Evans, because it’s the epitome of good hot chocolate.
  8. Not almost getting hit by bikes, busses, motorcycles, etc. on a daily basis. (Cab drivers be like, “But are you dead?”)
  9. Pandora.
  10. Good Wi-Fi.

So my roommate and I decided to do something to bring back the comforts of home without sobbing in McDonald’s. Joking—pretty sure our professors here would kill us before we stepped foot in a McDonald’s. Which we haven’t. Why are you asking? Why are you here? WHO TOLD Y-  anyway, *sweats nervously* like I was saying …

For some reason, nearly everyone forgot to bring sweatpants when they came here, including me. The people who didn’t forget and don’t own any are called “Not My Friends.” So my roommate and I spent an entire afternoon shopping for oversized sweaters and sweatpants to lounge around in, along with finding some much needed bar food because believe it or not, you can have too much pasta.

Despite approaching “the hump day” of studying abroad, there’s always a way to make home seem closer. For example, having your grandma lecture you on “that picture of you with the giant beer,” or your dad calling to check up (on that credit card bill.) Logging into Blackboard to remember all the things you haven’t done yet, it’s like you never left.

Once you’re over the hump, you’re probably good to go for the rest of the semester. Or so I’d assume. I’m kind of just making this up as I go. There are definitely aspects (food) of Italy (food) that make you never want to leave (AHEM, food):

  1. The food doesn’t kill your stomach.
  2. The food tastes amazing.
  3. The food is much cheaper.
  4. You’ll go broke in the leather market. (Shhh. Trust me. It’s a good thing.)
  5. Professors are your BFFs and hanging out with them on field trips is actually the coolest.
  6. You can blame your awkwardness on the language barrier. I don’t always sweat this much.
  7. Constant Insta travel porn
  8. People here are so beautiful you’re not even jealous because you’re like 99 percent sure they’re not real.
  9. Avoiding actual responsibilities is glorious.
  10. You’re in the land of wine and spaghetti. What could go wrong?

Side note: The amount of actual kitchen disasters that have occurred so far is actually quite high, so please do not use this blog as actual advice for fear of safety.

I’ll be back in two weeks to tell you all about London, so stay tuned because I’ll be writing it in a British accent.