“You will never be completely at home again. Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” I do not know who Miriam Adeney is, but she has put the perfect words to my feelings.
One of my close friends asked me a few weeks before the end of the semester what I would remember about this year. Pippo, if you read me…
What I will remember would be:
1. The amazing PGD group I had this year. I have made friends from all over the world — out of 30 we were 13 nationalities, and I was the only French speaker.
2. The late nights in PF3, East Wing, the main building and finally Erica working on group projects, studying finance all together, trying to teach/learn French…
3. The wedding preparation.
4. The tension, the tears, the stress, and the relief.
5. Our teachers yelling at us, our teachers expelling us from class, our teachers hugging us, our teachers dancing with us, our teachers proud of us.
6. All the laughter.
7. The long night discussions, debriefings, consolations, regret, remorse, love sorrows and friendship sorrows.
8. The shared cigarettes.
9. The good and bad grades.
10. The meals at midnight.
11. The Sunday night pizzas.
12. The hours spent in the kitchen.
13. The ice skating lessons and falls.
14. The broken fingers/back/foot/legs…
15. The WhatsApp chats — more an album of the previous night and ugly selfies than a work related exchange space —.
16. All the birthdays.
17. The Tacot dinners.
18. The nights in Le Pub, Leo’s, Sky Club and even Pacha.
19. The thousand meals and cups of coffee we had in Burger Lounge, Molino, Darshana, Bellavista or Memphis.
20. Our first PGD dinner at Burger Lounge.
21. Our class trips in the vineyards.
22. Our “class trip” to Milan — going and coming back in less than 12 hours just because we wanted a pizza —.
23. Even our trip to the fish museum.
24. Our really loud first PGD2 dinner at Molino driving the waiters crazy.
25. Our amazing raclette dinner post-wedding.
26. Singing and dancing with Mr. La Sala, our Service Operations teacher.
27. The dozen road trips we took, to Montreux, to Lausanne, to Germany, to Italy, to France.
28. The many planes we took together, to Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris.
Everything we have shared together and we won’t forget…
The first two weeks were challenging; my Indian roommate and I were not able to communicate. I could not understand her Indian accent and she could not understand my French accent. We tried talking to each other a few times before giving up and just smiling at each other. This worried me a lot at first: would it be always like that? Would we adjust? Would we be able to say more than just basic stuff to each other?
Today, we do not even need to talk anymore anyway. One look, one smile and we understand each other.
This year, I have met the best people. I have met the worst people as well, but what does that matter when I have found and made true friends all around the world. We have done so many things together this year, we have traveled so much, shared so much, and we still have a lot to do together, mostly attending a lot of Indian weddings, and Giulia and Sonke’s as well, obviously.
I have found for myself a home away from home and a family.
I could not say that this year has been easy for any of us. There have been fights — a lot — tensions, tears, the deepest sadness sometimes. But here we are today, closer than ever and ready to make it work. Ready to take a plane, to travel thousands and thousands of kilometers just to meet each other. In India, in Thailand, in China, in the US, in France, in the Czech Republic or even in Ukraine.
This year has not only been about meeting other people, opening my mind or getting to know people — and I got to know a lot— it was mostly about getting to know myself. In one year, I made mistakes (a lot), I took bad decisions (a lot), but I have also learned so much about myself. And to love that person and what I have become.
One year together, 24/7 with people you haven’t met before is challenging. To make true friends through these people is even more challenging. But we made it. It was not easy, but today we are closer than ever.
We were told by a former student to enjoy this last semester as much as we can. We did, and this was the best advice ever.
Do not come to Les Roches for academics, for the network or for the job opportunities, although you will get all of this. Come to Les Roches for the lifetime experience you will have here.