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Going … home?

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Like most students, in just 18 short days I will be finishing my last final, packing up my dorm room and going home.

The only difference is that I will not be coming back next semester. On Jan. 15, I will board a plane headed for Rome, Italy, which will be my home for the next four months.

I have been aware of the fact I would be going to Rome since late last year, but it has just recently hit me that I am not going to see so many of my friends and family for a good amount of time. To help me make the transition from South Bend to Rome, I recently have been thinking of the things I will not miss when I am abroad.

I believe that the idea of the things I will not miss really came to mind when I was informed last week that Saint Mary’s would be closing the beloved underground tunnel system. The tunnels were always a beacon of hope during to help me avoid the sometime harsh South Bend weather.

I certainly will not miss the dinning hall – a girl can only eat cereal and salad for so long. I am fairly confident the Italian cuisine will far surpass even the best dinner at Noble Family Dinning Hall.

Snow is certainly something I will not miss. According to my Italian professor, Rome only gets one inch of snow every 15 years. This is amazing, and I think I will be excited for winter for the first time in 19 years.

I also will not miss the fact that the campus construction zone has created a mess of the sidewalks, resulting in the world’s deepest mud puddle. This extremely vast mud puddle is not walkable, no matter what one may think. I learned my lesson the hard way last night. When I was attempting to walk to the parking lot last night I took one step and the next thing I know my feet are completely engulfed in mud, completely ruining my shoes.

After making this list, I realized I was only creating it to help lessen the reality of leaving my home. The time I have spent at Saint Mary’s has been the best year and a half of my life. It will be difficult to leave all of the friends I have made and adapt to a whole new culture in a foreign land.

I will defiantly miss the luxury of being able to run into all of my friends as I walk to class, eating chicken sandwiches before working a long night at The Observer and making midnight runs to Meijer with my roommate.

I know Rome will be an experience of a lifetime, and I will learn things there that I could not be taught in any South Bend classroom. I look forward to making new friends and traveling throughout Europe.

I will come back next year, perhaps as a changed person. I will know the culture of another land, but I will also be aware of my where my true home lies – even if the tunnels are closed.