June 17, 2018, Blog by Lauren Summers, Community Psychology major, When in Rome: Interdisciplinary Study Art & Italian Culture Program.

Hey guys,

My name is Lauren and I am a Community Psychology major at UWB. My journey to where I am now starts about 10 years ago  when I graduated high school. Throughout high school I was highly unmotivated and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, because of this I decided to go to a local community college. During this time, I flip-flopped from general pre-reqs to nursing, and then back, I had no  idea what I wanted to do and didn’t feel smart enough to make anything of myself.  Eventually, after about a year and half I quit and joined the restaurant industry. I worked my way up to bartending and after 10 ish years I realized I needed a change and went back to school, got my AA, and started at UWB as a junior.

Study abroad was something I never thought I could do, I watched with jealousy as my peers on Facebook journeyed  through various countries. Then I thought to myself, why not? Why do I think I can’t do this? Of course I can. So, I said what the hell and applied, thinking I probably wouldn’t get accepted. The program I applied for, and yes I did get accepted to is when in Rome: Interdisciplinary Studio Art & Italian Culture Study Abroad Program. This is a Summer A program from June 20-July 17 2018.

I chose this program because first, I’ve never been to Italy, and second, how cool would it be to be in Rome as an art program? Included with this program are guided tours to some of the most amazing places in Rome, including St. Peters, Colosseum, The Sistine Chapel, and more.  I am not particularly artistic, but Rome will be full of inspiration.

So now that I have been accepted and leave in 19 days, my jitters have start to set it. Sure, I’ve been to other countries, but not with a group of strangers. This stepping out of my comfort zone triggers my anxiety big time. What if I can’t sleep? What if my roommate snores? What if I just fail? But I am not letting these petty fears make me spiral into despair, because I know that of course I can do this, and it’s an amazing opportunity.

Leaving my fiancé, kitty, and dog is removing myself from all of my habitual comforts, but this is going to be an epic adventure. I’ve made sure all my friends and family have downloaded WhatsApp so we can stay in constant communication.

I am a dual citizen with the US and Great Britain so moving around should be smooth, and luckily I just got my new passport this week.