Don't get me wrong, I love Naperville as much as any teen (or soon-not-to-be) does. But here's the problem I have with it: it's constricting. Even as often as we joke about it, we all want out. Sooner or later you get tired of the "bubble" you live in. This town is great, don't get me wrong, but literally when you're anywhere in the "fighting for freedom" stage (wanting high school to be over) and or in college, you want to see the world and meet new people and get productive in their lives. Moving on and moving out.
There are times where it feels like if you're not in the right demographic; specifically age-wise, you don't fit in and there's not much for you to do. The age of later high school-early college is limited in any sense because you are legally an adult, but you don't have the responsibilities OF a real adult. You can't rent a car, you can't buy/drink alcohol, you can't do a lot of things. Eighteen: the age of legally being allowed to vote and join the military among a very short list of other options. You're considered an adult within society, but socially you're not and even beyond that you're still not an adult.
Although change is good sometimes, sometimes it's not. That's the way life goes. But when it comes to moving out of a town I've known my entire life, change is overdue. So naturally, when I originally moved off to college I was both relieved, scared and excited. Excited in the sense of moving onto new adventures. Nervous for what lied ahead of me. And relieved in the sense of getting out of the constricting town lines I knew and the same old views that grew old way too fast.
Like I've said, don't get me wrong, there's so much about Naperville. From the change that, despite the time it's taken to get used to, has grown on me and that sense of what a town truly is. Naperville, by far, isn't a small town (it has a population of about 150,000 people). But just being in the downtown makes you feel like you're in a town smaller than it is and where there's this atmosphere of a bubble; it's a town that's cut out from the rest of the world.
All in all, when you're stuck in a town you've known your whole life, it's good to get away and take the time to appreciate where you're from and what you've come from. Growing up in Naperville has given me a fantastic upbringing, but I'm glad to have moved on and out.
Brian Jelonek via Flickr