I’m Eleonora Savoldi, that’s my full name, but during these last months I’ve been just El.
I’m an exchange student from Italy and I’m spending my exchange year in the United States, more specifically in Boise, Idaho, a state close to the west coast.
I decided to go on an exchange because I was not satisfied with my little world anymore, I wanted to experience a new culture with a different way of living and thinking, I wanted to change my point of view, challenging myself.
I’ve always held to that, through highs and lows, I knew that I was going to come out of it stronger.
The beginning of my exchange was hard, I was really excited about my host family and I was loving their kids but, despite the effort, when it’s not a good fit, there’s nothing you can to to fix it.
After 8 weeks with them, my coordinator pulled me out of that family, but I’ve been so blessed that, that same day, a teammate from volleyball offered to host me and her family became my new host family.
I’ve always tried to make the most of every situation, bad or good; and if I managed to do that I have to thank my big family in Italy and my host family in the United States that overtime became a real special second family to me, but it still had to put the pieces together when I didn’t want to get up anymore because of homesickness or because I was getting in my head.
We made it, we passed Christmas and New Year’s day, the first time away from home for me; but what we didn’t know was that a new challenge was coming for us.
The last thing that I would have expected from my exchange was a pandemic… but here we are, facing this thing together, no matter where we are, we all lost something because of this virus, many people lost grandparents, parents, children, friends; others lost trips, money, sleep because of the chaos; seniors in America lost their last months of high school, prom and graduation.
Thank to this year I’ve been able to experience how your point of view changes your perception of the importance of things and people.
I don’t know for how long I’ll be able to stay in the US but, as I said, everyone is losing something and if I’ll have to go back to my wounded country then I’ll do it, in the meantime I’m living day by day, trying to appreciate little things as much as possible.
My hope is that after this period of being apart from the people that we love and that we want to spend our time with, we’ll be more conscious of what really matters and how we want to spend our time; we’ll come out more patient and kind with each other.
Hopefully this will end soon.
Thanks to all the doctors and nurses and volunteers that are working like crazy to save as many people as possible.
Everyone has to do their part in this so “Stay home and stay strong”, take this seriously and try to spread positivity as you can.