My birthday was on January 12th and finally I turned eighteen. Here in the USA is not a really big deal, but in Italy I’m and adult.

— Me? An adult? No way, I’m just a little thing walking and breathing. —

Anyways, I’ve always loved birthdays so I was really happy to finally celebrate mine.

My parents called on Wednesday at 6pm (it was actually Midnight in Italy) and we talked for a while and they sang “happy birthday” and I was really happy, but then when we ended the call I suddenly started feeling sad and I started crying a little bit. After the call, Alice, my best friend, sent a really long text and that for sure made me cry a lot of tears.

In that moment I realized that I actually miss a lot my family and friends and being here, in this important day was harder than I expected.  

The best is yet to come: the next day – my actually birthday – I woke up with the need to check my phone because I was sure that all my friends sent me birthday texts, but they didn’t. 

It was totally weird and the only excuse I could give was: “maybe they are just having a rough day, maybe they didn’t have the time… maybe they forgot about it, which is fine

Nora’s pic.

They didn’t forget about it. 

They instead waited until my actual time of birth to send me a video. It was during school and I wish they sent the video later in the day because I started crying really badly.

My family, my best friends and all the people I care about were wishing me happy birthday, saying things I never think of myself.

So yeah, it was definitely a day to remember.

While writing this post I’m crying, but these tears are not tears of sadness; they are tears of happiness because I’m surrounded by amazing people. I’m not just talking of my Italian friends but I had confort by some other people here in Okemos and I’m thankful and grateful for them.

  • Have you ever driven crazy one of your friends just to amaze him/her?
  • If yes, what did you do?

3 – August 2016


Milan -> NYC

I’m Miranda and I’m from Italy.

It’s been only 4 months since I’ve been here in Okemos, Michigan, for my exchange year.

This exchange year it’s the best opportunity that ever happened to me even though leaving my home, my friends, my family was difficult. What was even more difficult was packed all my clothes for the year: from summer to spring. I essentially packed all my favorite clothes and coats and shoes. The fact that made it harder was that before coming here I spent 3 days in NYC and the goal was that I wouldn’t open the big suitcase, which I did anyways.

NYC was great: Hyde Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge everything I visited was worth the stop. For me the city was a little chaotic: too many people and too many cars and I really thought during the whole three days that in Italy we drive a little better, but it was definitely a really good trip with intense walking around the city (my Health app says more than 34,000 steps in a day). I spent those days with other exchange students coming from France, Spain and of course Italy, and I made some friends who I’m still talking to: we share problems with our host-family (if any) or every activity we do in school or out school.

It was the 6th of August when I first saw my host-family, and it was actually on accident.

My  room!

We walked in each other because my flight was early. They welcomed me with a big colored sign “WELCOME MIRANDA” and after that we spent the day wandering around Okemos: they  showed me the path that I’m still using to go to school and Downtown. We went to a Pub and I ate half of ‘wrap’ (that I’m still ordering every time we go there) and some fries, because my stomach couldn’t handle the massive portions of food yet. For a first day it was all good except for the part where I fell on Libby, my little host sister. I felt really bad and for the first impression I bet it wasn’t good.

My life here so far is what I was expecting to be: unforgettable. I met many people so far and most of them I think I can call them friends or more. My host family is slowly becoming my second family and I’m not regretting at all my decision about doing this exchange year.

As I’ve already said: this is the best experience that someone could do. 

  • What about you? Would you like to do an exchange year if you had the chance?
  • Would you like to have a different life from your current one?