Although I have two essays to finish today, I need to take a break right now. This week, it began. As I was walking down the road out of Ostia, I realized that it was the last time I would be there. Since that moment, the realization that there are only two weeks left has thrown me into a rather turbulent state.
I’ve definitely improved at Greek this semester, which is probably my biggest achievement. I still suck at it, but now I suck less. I also have gained a lot of context for my Latin literature studies. I have seen the places and monuments that I have learned about since I started Latin in 8th grade. I really can’t even begin to describe how much Classics-related knowledge I have gained.
Ultimately, I was not able to connect with any of the other students here. It has been a constant source of frustration for me; sometimes, it gets hard to enjoy things alone. Of anything this semester, I view my near-isolation as my greatest failure. How can someone live in such close proximity to other people, but feel no lonely? Nevertheless, I have spent so many hours with these people – in the Centro, crammed on a bus, attending all-day lectures, etc. – that I have still developed a mechanical solidarity that overrides the frustration. My group as a whole is great. Our inside jokes, our group dynamic, and our memories have formed for our sum a collective personality that cannot be preserved in that one page of names in the Centro book that we will be reduced to. Everyone seems to feel it. Often I have had remarks about what the next group will be like. People seem particularly interested in how the next group of students will interact with the professors; some have expressed jealousy. No one likes to be forgotten, or, maybe worse, to be compared to someone else and come up short.
Part of me is ready to go home. I am excited about going back to my own school, and I have so much to look forward to. On the other hand, I have been somewhat free for the past three months. I have the ability to jump on a train and go anywhere I please. Although I rarely use that ability, I love knowing that I have it. I know that I will feel trapped when I go home. I also know that, right now, I am a part of something that won’t exist anymore in two weeks. It has made its impact on our identities, but it will nevertheless be reduced to a memory. It’s going to be a loss I’ll feel deeply. If I can, that is. Even when I have rapid emotional fluctuations like I am now, they are so much duller than they used to be. That has been one of the biggest changes I have undergone here. I don’t even know how it happened. I have had so much pain in the past three years – so many ups and downs, always felt to the most extreme extent – but, somehow, I just stopped feeling very much. I hover around my baseline mood now. I can’t feel very happy, but, at the same time, I don’t really hurt anymore. That’s in reference to one specific aspect of my life, but, to a lesser extent, it has pervaded the rest. Still, the strongest thing I feel is a crushing perception of being alone.
I am considering going to Venice next weekend. My parents gave me some money to have fun with, and I have always wanted to go to Venice. I can study for exams on the train, and, besides, I am not much good at studying anyway. I usually don’t even try to. Here, we have so much material that I have to. Even so, my studying generally extends to reading over my notes, then just thinking about all of it. I can do that in Venice just as well as in Rome. At the same time, I feel a little miserable about it. I asked around, but no one wants to go. The truth is, they wouldn’t want to go with me, even if it were not the weekend before exams. I don’t blame them. Still, I am annoyed with myself for a bad habit I have developed. At the risk of sounding completely insane, I frequently daydream about conversations with people who have left my life, especially when I am travelling alone. If I go, I’ll probably spend the whole time doing that. I really, really want someone (that’s intended to be somewhere between a quidem and an aliquis, but definitely not a quisquam…) to come with me.
*Title from Blink-182, “Adam’s Song,” Enema of the State – quite possibly one of the best songs ever written, and a personal favorite.


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