As I was sitting in class the other day (so I got distracted, sue me), I thought about how I celebrated last Thanksgiving in a beautiful apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris, France with about 12 close friends. Our two-bedroom loft was extremely crowded and loud that night, but there was an amazing home-cooked feast with wine and beer (we were all legal in Europe, relax), and everyone was just genuinely happy. We said grace and then did the clichéd Thanksgiving ritual of going around in a circle and each saying something that we were grateful for. It was so difficult to think of only one thing to say; we were having the time of our lives exploring Europe, and it seemed absurd to have to pick one thing to mention. But we did.
This Thanksgiving season is, in more ways than one, a lot less glamorous. Rather than having the Eiffel Tower just miles away from me, I have the University of Dallas Tower just feet away from me. Rather than walking by the Seine each day, I walk by the Old Mill pond. And while a cappuccino from the Cap Bar on campus is far better than any Starbucks drink, nothing compares to an authentic Italian cappuccino.
As any previous Romer would love to tell you, Romesickness is a legitimate illness. It might not be clinical, but sometimes it’s more painful than you can imagine. It’s one of the most intense forms of nostalgia that I have ever experienced, and I know it will never go away. Sometimes I get sad and go through pictures to reminisce. Sometimes I get angry and block all of the current Romers’ updates. Mostly, I am just in awe at the experience I had with some of the most amazing people I have ever met.
My dearest Romers, don’t be disheartened when you remember where you were “a year ago” or “some months ago.” Be thankful that you were able to do the things you did, see the places you saw, spend time with the people whom you spent time with and learn the things you learned. Your Rome semester might be over, but Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember why that’s so hard to admit – because it was that good.