I was the last to arrive here in Paros out of our group of students, but thankfully I feel like I have experienced as much of the island as everyone else. Every time a small group decides to go out for dinner, go outshopping, or even just take a walk, there is always an offer on the table. An offer to join in the exploration of this small, yet vast island. There’s more to this island around every corner and over every hill, which makes the 76 square miles seem like the largest piece of land to have ever been in existence.
Over these past two weeks, the twelve of us have spent more time together than I spend with a lot of my best friends throughout a year. I have also put more sunscreen on in the past two weeks than I think I have in my entire life. We have climbed the mountain of awkward encounters, the mountain of school work, and even literal mountains together. We can say we have been through thick and thin –without exaggerating. This is what it means to study abroad in a place like Paros, Greece with people like those I have around me. We live together, work together, play together, and eat together almost every day.
There is only a week left as of today, meaning the group has yet to go through the toughest part of our experience here. However, I have no doubt in my mind that we will get through what needs to get done. When any one of us needed help with our personal projects, there were always at least two other members of the group free and ready to help. For example, in my experience in interviewing a local shoemaker, Renee, Diann, and Jared were there to help without even needing to be asked. Because of this, I know I don’t need to have the slightest of worries when it comes to our group projects. This is the home stretch and we are prepared to slide to home plate.
Written by Matthew Marret