Oh Sweet Summer

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For at least most of us, summer is finally here! Of course, for a recent college graduate like me, that doesn’t mean daylong sunbathing or sleeping in until noon as much as it used to. This year, my summer will be busy with not one, but two great internships; one at the Knoll showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, and the other here at the IIDA headquarters! Not that I’m not thoroughly excited about both of these great opportunities, but I can’t help but reminisce about summers past when all I had to worry about was applying sunscreen in the morning and enjoying my day.

 
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Another night at Piazzale Michelangelo

Probably my favorite summer was last year in 2008. A year ago today, I was living in Florence, Italy (or Firenze, as the Italians call it), taking classes at Lorenzo de Medici, an exchange school through my University. Everyday I would wake up to cappuccino and walk through the San Lorenzo market to class where I and my three classmates (yes, three), would head to the next famous garden or historic building in this beautiful European city. The rest of my day usually consisted of eating lunch at a nearby café (and of course, a helping of gelato), followed by my Italian class. Finally, at night I would either make dinner with something I had bought at the Mercato Centrale (fresh fish, meat, produce), or head to the nearest trattoria to have a portion of delicious pasta and maybe another cup or two of gelato. And of course, a day in Florence would not be complete until I walked around the city, past the Duomo a few times, and maybe even up to Piazzale Michelangelo, a popular lookout point over the entire city of Florence. My weekends usually consisted of traveling, either to the surrounding Tuscan cities, or else to farther distances like Nice, France or Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. Needless to say, last summer is not one that I will soon (or ever) forget and is definitely a “hard act to follow” for any subsequent summer.

 

 
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My roommates, their teacher, and I at our favorite gelateria!

While this summer won’t be quite as travel worthy as the last, it certainly won’t be any less adventurous! For the first time in my life, I really have no idea where my life will take me six months from now, which is entirely excited and terrifying at the same time. But, I cannot take this for granted. I could get a job right away, or I could go back to school, or I could even take the year off to travel if I wanted. The possibilities at this point are endless and if that isn’t an adventure, I don’t know what is! Not to mention, now that I’m done with school, I finally have time to do some of those things that I’ve been meaning to do forever but just didn’t have time while in school. Things like, catch up on enjoyable reading (not just for school!), learn to sew, experiment with cooking new recipes, and even catch up on that Italian that may have gotten rusty over the past year. Especially in 2009, I know a lot of college graduates are a little nervous to be leaving school, and even though it’s probably not the easiest time to do so, it’s still a time of our lives that we’ll never get back! Even though many of us wish we could go back to that first year of college, we can’t. But, we can be absolutely grateful for that time and the lessons we learned, and remember that a new experience that can be just as great awaits us in the years ahead, whatever that may be! And to those of you who are still in college: enjoy it! I know the papers and projects and hours of homework can be a bummer, but take the opportunities that college presents to you and run with them! You’ll always remember that time of your life fondly and maybe even reminisce about it someday like I am now.

So now that you know what my summer will consist of this year and what summer I’ll be reminiscing about for years to come, let me know what yours will be! What summer are you reminiscing about? What exciting plans do you have coming up? What interests are you going to catch up with now that you have a break from classes?

Posted by Michelle Carroll, IIDA Summer Intern

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