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First impressions, eleven weeks later

September 19, 2012

My first impression of my friend Mili comes from our first day in Italy together. We had class together, and I thought she was very good at Italian. A group of seven of us went around Florence together after class that first day, and Mili wanted to see where the cast of Jersey Shore stayed in Florence. We went, and while I don’t have anything against Jersey Shore, I thought it was an interesting first cultural visit in Florence. In contrast, after that, we all went to the Duomo, which is a church. Mili had to use a guy’s bright green swimming trunks to cover her shoulders. Great first impression.

By the way, apparently Mili’s first impression of me was that I am boring. Great kick start to the friendship.

I mean, it’s understandable. At first glance, I don’t know if we really had anything in common beyond the fact that we were both studying abroad in Italy in July and that we both blogged about the experience. As I write this post (which, for the record, she requested I write. Apparently if someone asks me to write a blog post / ode to them, I will do it. Sometimes I’ll do it without being asked. But anyway…), as I write this post and try to reflect on my friendship with Mili and put into words why it matters to me, I’ve decided what changed things is probably the fact that we both blogged while in Italy.

We blogged, we read each other’s blogs and we discussed the sentiments in those blogs while in Italy. Because of that (and I can only speak for myself), I realized we did have something in common: how much value we placed upon the experience. We both recognized what a once-in-a-lifetime experience that month studying abroad in Italy was, and that, I would say, was the groundwork necessary in developing a friendship beyond the month abroad.

I suppose that first impression has changed over the course of the past 11 weeks. At least, I would certainly hope so, considering we have spent time together since then. In addition to hanging out in Florence, we also traveled to Cinque Terre, Venice and Pisa and have seen each other numerous times in Lawrence. I’ve seen her cry in Venice and fall between the train and platform in Pisa, and she’s witnessed some of my awkward moments, like when I started spelling a verb in grammar class (Definitely not the directions). We’ve had several deep conversations, beginning with me recording her talking about her life story in Venice and continuing with a conversation about career paths yesterday afternoon.

We began to lay a foundation for a solid friendship 2-3 weeks into the program, and 11 weeks after that first impression, I would say Mili and I are pretty good friends. I enjoy spending time with her, and I see her as someone I could talk to about pretty much anything.

I value my friendship with Mili because even though I have other people in my life who know me well and who I can talk to about things, Mili is one in a select group of people who knew me in Italy. Yes, I talked to family and friends back home while I was across the ocean, but that’s not quite comparable to actually being there and experiencing the experience with me. The people with whom I studied abroad had the chance to see me change and open up during that month, and I had the chance to see them change and open up too.

When I checked my calendar to see how many weeks had gone by since arriving in Italy, I was actually really surprised that it had only been 11. Yes, it feels like it’s been longer, but in addition to that, I’m still kind of awed at how much Italy took me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to share deep parts of my life with people, like with Mili.

I guess life just goes by too quickly to waste it believing a first impression, so I’m glad we’re both beyond those now. Hopefully.

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From → Miscellaneous

One Comment
  1. I love this, and definitely am glad we’re both beyond first impressions. Although my first impression wasn’t that you were boring! Just quiet. Big difference.

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