“What is left to you of the Erasmus?”
I’m always having a hard time answering this question. In a first moment I struggle, I try to find a rational solution, trying not to take a position in what the months of study abroad have given me. The difficulties arise, indeed, because the first memories, the most intense ones, the ones that have characterised crucial moments, start coming closer with heavy steps.
These memories are awfully strong and when you can’t resist them any longer, you start to think that you still have everything left of the Erasmus. I still remember the most significant relationships, I remember the errors I made that allowed me to improve, I remember the difficulties I have overcome, the fact of feeling really stupid for having thought some stereotypes or mental blocks could stop me from acting one way or another. Then I remember the good times, the moments I never thought I could live, the ones I recall looking at a shirt, a gift from someone close, a moment immortalised in a picture. Often I think what I’ve lived is so special that I can’t ask more from my Erasmus.
Coming back to the original question, I have so many things left that I’d have to think very long about it to give a truthful answer. Something I like to stress everytime I’m given the opportunity though, is that when I think about my experience abroad, I smile. Indeed I think about how formative it’s been for me, and how it taught me to live life at its best; like when I was in Erasmus and living to the full every single moment, now I strive to keep the beauty in what I do, to commit in doing that bit more which allows me to feel good about myself and think “I can’t do anymore than this, I’m happy”. I still especially have this left of the Erasmus, and figuratively I like to say the time I spent abroad is been like a trip in time which allowed me to go back at being a kid who’s amazed by every new thing, who madly wants to keep on discovering, that wants to enjoy reality “a tutta vita”.