Former study abroad student thanks people for new memories

“Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time they spent with you but how they impacted your life in that time.”
This quote gave me a chance to reflect and think about the time I’ve spent abroad and even here at Clarion. The number of people whom I’ve met and impacted my life in just these past four years is incredible and incredible to think about.
The people I met especially abroad have influenced the way I think and the things I do. And even though these are only people who I’ve met and become friends with for four months, their friendships and memories will stay with me forever.
Emily DiRenzo, Hannah King, Hayley White, and Kenna Lewis; these four girls that I lived with and traveled in Rome with have impacted me each in a unique way. I learned how to be an independent traveler, to explore, be myself, stand up for myself, and lastly just enjoy life no matter what it throws at you. I may not get the chance to travel to New York, Boston, Washington, or California anytime soon to see these girls, but the memories will be with me forever.
Giovanni Poggi: I met Giovanni during my time abroad and he was the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers bar, also known as La Botticella in the eternal city. I made my way to the bar during my first few weeks abroad to check it out, and it was awesome. It was a piece of home for me in this unfamiliar city. I covered a story about Poggi, how he opened the bar and where the Steeler theme came from for a feature-writing story for class, and he was such a great guy who I got to know throughout the semester. It was awesome to have that taste of home and to be able to go there and meet other Pittsburghers anytime I wanted, and I’m thankful to have been able to connect with them.
Alessandro Zanazzo: Allessandro was my photography professor in Rome. Photography was a hobby I had, but I never necessarily got to explore it as much as I’ve wanted too. Professor Zanazzo was patient and kind and helped me with my skills to get some really awesome pictures. He helped shaped my ideas on photography but also life. One thing I remember him telling me specifically regarding photography was to capture “everyday life,” not just taking the big shots of major monuments or popular spots in Rome but taking the time to admire the couple drinking coffee on a Sunday afternoon or the kids playing together in a park. It’s about capturing those “not so important moments,” which end up turning into bigger moments, ones that you look back on and remember. I will be forever grateful of the life lessons he taught me.
Francesco and Nando Ceravolo: My roommates and I met these two perfect Italian gentlemen during our first week when we stumbled upon their gelato shop. They were amazing. They joked with us, helped us with our Italian and gave us tips about the city. When my parents came to visit me I took them to their shop as soon as they got to Rome. They were so kind and sweet and reassured my parents that if I needed anything that they would be there to help in anyway they could. They made such an impact on myself and even my family. In fact, my mom cried on their last day because of the sweet things they said. I will never forget those two, and I miss them everyday.
I think in general about the people I’ve met just in these past four years. The people I’ve met at Clarion, working at Kennywood, studying abroad. I’ve made friendships with some truly incredible people who have shaped me to be the person I am today. I couldn’t be more blessed, and with graduation approaching, I’m looking forward to see what future opportunities are in store for me.

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