According to the ACM handbook, study abroad students generally go through three phases during the semester. During the first phase, they are overwhelmed and excited by the thrill of being in a new place. During the second phase, they get stressed out and critical. And during the third, they fall into a routine and start to feel at home.
Well, right now I'm in phase two. Every moment of every day takes a certain amount of energy, and I end up feeling exhausted with a headache all the time. I feel like Italian is going too quickly and I can't keep up, and I start panicking in class whenever Luigi starts calling on people. To be honest, right now I'd love to be home in the U.S., curled up in bed with my dog. I know this phase will pass soon and that when I'm done with this semester I'll look back on it as one of the greatest experiences of my life, but I can't deny that feeling stressed and overwhelmed is part of the study abroad experience. Hopefully I'll grow from it.
Yesterday turned out well though. I got home, said hi to my host mom, and she asked if I would like to watch TV with her. We watched "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" in Italian, and it turned out I could understand more of it than I would have expected. Then we ate pasta and "Uovo d'inferno," deviled eggs, for dinner.