I’m Going To College…Now What?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHello, friends! My first deposit has been paid, my belongings have been packed, and I’ve said my goodbyes to my friends. It’s now time for me to go to college. Holy crap.

I have been awaiting this moment ever since the end of junior year, where I quickly grew tired of the cumbersome routines of high school. I was tired of seeing half of the people at my school. I was tired of living in the same old, boring town. I was tired of studying subjects that I wasn’t passionate about. For a year and a half, I prepared myself for the next chapter of my life-taking my SATs, writing my essays, and listing out every activity I had participated in over the past four years. I lived out the “last time’s” of my senior year and made lasting memories with my friends and family. And now, here I am. Going to college.

The prospect of venturing out on my own is both thrilling and terrifying. Thrilling, because I get to meet so many new people, make my own decisions, and have amazing, new experiences. Terrifying, because half of the time I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I am, however, ready for all of this. I’m ready for the thrill and terror of what these next four years will bring. I’m ready to move past the cumbersome tasks of high school and on to a new and challenging environment.

I realize that this is also a period of transition. No longer am I under the complete jurisdiction of my family, who I know I will love and miss terribly. I’m in charge of making sure I go to bed at a reasonably time and wake up for class. I’m also in charge of the decisions I make, both socially and academically. While I know I can always rely on my family for support, the choices I make are ultimately mine.

I can’t wait to see what these next four years will bring. Daddy, if you’re reading this, you’ll be happy to know that I will remember the 80/20 work/play ratio and to always hold strong to who I am.


College, I’m ready for ya. -Love Ling


Florence, Italy


IMG_6341Hello, friends! Oh, Florence. This city is epic. It’s the home of the Renaissance, chock-full of art, history, and oh so much Italian culture. One of my favorite things about this city is that when you’re walking the streets or eating in restaurants, you’re in the same spots where the Renaissance masters once were. The door handle you just used may have been around in Michelangelo’s time. A morning stroll by the Arno River may have been experienced by Dante Aligheri. Florence is swimming in culture and there’s so much to do here.

Some of my favorite attractions in Florence include the Medici Chapel, for the gorgeous Michelangelo statues; the Uffizi, for Botticelli’s Primavera; and the leather market, just for funzies. I will warn you though-because of all of the attractions in Florence, it draws a lot of tourists, so be prepared for crowds. When wetraveled in Florence, we hit all of our favorite restaurants, as well as visiting La Academia (The David, anyone?), Santa Croce (The church where the Renaissance masters are buried), and the leather market.



If you’re looking for a good place to shop in Italy, Florence is the place! It has a huge leather industry that consumes the markets along the streets. My favorite bags and purses have all come from Florence, but not without being bartered for a good deal! If leather isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of shopping by the Ponte Vecchio. Just follow the signs and the mass groups of people.


Ponte Vecchio

As for restaurant recommendations, our study abroad group always does a group lunch at Pennello’s, which is just around the corner from Dante Aligheri’s house. The people there are friendly and the food is to die for. My absolutely favorite dish that I get every time I’m at Pennello’s is Scallopine al Crema Tartufo, which is veal with a truffle cream sauce. It’s to die for. I also love this restaurant called “Za-Za’s”, located close to the Medici Chapel and the leather market. Za-Za’s is super trendy and delivers a wide variety of Italian dishes. This is also one of my favorite places to get an after meal cappuccino, as theirs are beautifully decorated and delicious.


Our students at Pennello’s



Scallopine al Crema Tartufo


Florence is definitely a big tourist site, but for good reason. Just being there makes you feel like you’re going back in time to the Renaissance. However, it’s such a fun city that really makes you appreciate history, art, and how it affects us now.

-Love Ling



Hello, friends!  I think that Orvieto is one of my favorite towns in Italy. It’s beautiful, not too touristy, and has an element of weirdness that makes it beautifully unique. I found myself taking so many pictures of the sweetest little streets, even a street called “Viccolo Dolci” or “Sweet Street”. It’s one of those places that is fun for just wandering, whether that be exploring the charming side streets or browsing the various ceramic shops. Sharing this beautiful town below… IMG_6509IMG_6513IMG_6527P1040213IMG_6258IMG_6281

-Love Ling