I want to talk about allowing yourself to not be productive.

During all this time at home, I’m sure you’ve had this same dilemma. Once you finish your work for the day, you go and give your brain a break for a while. But then, guilt kicks in. I’ve been watching Netflix for 3 hours and it’s not even dark yet. Maybe I should do something productive. There’s a fine line between a well-deserved break and being lazy, right? Normally, yeah. But something we need to realize is there’s been a new normal lately.

The situation we’ve been in has offered us time that we haven’t had in years. But what’s more, the emotional toll it’s taken has drained us of any energy we maybe would’ve had normally. You know that feeling you get when Friday hits and you remember that you’re going out with your friends tonight? The zing of energy that comes from stuff like that is something we’ve been lacking.

That combination is a recipe for laziness....

I had the privilege of traveling to Italy during January 2020. I spent the majority of my time in Rome and made some stops in places like Pompeii and Gaeta before returning to the United States. Once I was settled back into the New Hampshire lifestyle after having been immersed in Italian culture for almost two weeks, I had a chance to reflect on this life-changing experience.

Before this trip, I had never been abroad. My vacations growing up were spent at Disney World, so I did not consider myself cultured in the slightest. But, going into this abroad experience, I did have one skill that truly enhanced my time in Italy that many of my traveling companions did not: the ability to speak Italian.

I’m not 100% fluent, but I’m almost finished with the intermediate level of Italian language courses through UNH’s Italian Department. That being said, the Italian Department deserves a major shout out, because the faculty that...

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