When scheduling time rolled around this past fall, I started planning out my last five semesters as a Temple undergrad. I stared at the Kinesiology bulletin until my eyes glazed over, scribbled down (okay, neatly printed in a color-coded chart) everything that is incomplete on my DARS report, consulted with two different advisors, and called my mom. I came to the conclusion that my Temple experience will mimic college in The Game of Life. The game starts. I load up my mini mini-van with a little pink character and decide to go to college. First turn, I spin a 10. BOOM. Graduate college. Done. Over. Here are some student loans so you can remember your experience. Bye.
That’s what it felt like when I realized I was about to graduate from college a full year early. There were so many more things to do and people to meet and places to go and cheesesteaks to eat and football games to attend and pictures to take and restaurants to try and owl things to collect and…I was overwhelmed. So I made some metaphorical alterations to The Game of Life board. My new and improved game board provides me with the opportunity to collect all kinds of Life tokens between now and graduation. One of those tokens says Temple Rome.
“I’m going to Rome” – that’s what I tell everyone who asks what my summer plans entail, and that’s exactly what I mean. No expectations, no crazy travel planning in advance, no dieting to prepare for carb city. I’m going and I plan to appreciate every moment while I’m there. I have been gradually preparing for those moments since I was accepted to the Temple Rome study abroad program in January. I got new luggage, bright blue and big enough for a friend to crawl inside. I found the empty Rome journal on my bookshelf, waiting to be filled with every detail of my trip. I got a travel book, which doesn’t much excite me now, while I’m still in Philadelphia, but I’ll end up reading the whole thing on the plane, in eager anticipation. I got plane tickets. These individual pieces are starting to add up, convincing me that this trip is more than a dream.
Now, I’m waiting for “I’m going” to become “I’m here.” Because the moment I arrive in Rome and see a space on the game board with an opportunity for a Life token, you better believe I’m running towards it, head held high, eyes open wide, with a big grin on my face, ready to experience whatever lies ahead. I don’t know Italian. I’m terrible with following directions and getting oriented in new places. Spontaneous wasn’t even in my vocabulary a couple years ago. And I’m not so great at meeting new people. But I have a feeling I’ll be highly motivated to get out of my comfort zone and figure those things out when in Rome.
I’m already Temple Made. I can’t wait to be Temple Rome Made.