I Prefer City Life SO Much More Than Suburban Life

I Prefer City Life SO Much More Than Suburban Life

Yeah, it's a pretty biased perspective.

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I've lived in Queens, New York my whole entire life, with the Big Apple just a 45-minute commute on the A train. I grew up seeing halal food carts on every few streets, meeting lots of people of different ethnicities and backgrounds and hearing New Yorkers scream profanity at each other for the smallest things (like bumping into one another while speed walking in the same direction). I also grew up with my neighbors living so close to me, they can literally hear when I sing in the shower.

Since I've lived in this environment my whole life, I've often taken it for granted. I remember visiting family out-of-state, like Florida and Pennsylvania, and envying their large houses and backyards, meanwhile, I lived in a small house that was more expensive to live in than theirs. When I asked about what they usually do on the weekends, however, my cousins would say it's always pretty boring because there's never anything to do there besides go to the mall, which is why they'd much rather live in NYC.

Though I was grateful that the city is full of hidden gems, and is never a dull place to be, I still had a desire to leave the nest, and go somewhere where I would feel, say, a culture shock. That's why for college I knew I wanted to dorm outside of the city at a SUNY rather than staying home and commuting there for school, like I would always do. Plus, MetroCards are always annoying to put money in.

I guess, in a way, coming to Stony Brook made me feel a little culture shock. There's less diversity than I'm used to, no small corner-store delis, and not a lot of people who speak with the New York slang that sounds like home to me. I don't even know where to get some good halal food around here. As for leisure activities, the city would have cool museums, art galleries, escape rooms, outdoor parks, and street performances; just a few experiences I definitely miss seeing now that I'm in college. My city friends back home would jokingly call me a "Long Islander" because I'm spending so much time trying to adjust to living in this peaceful environment.

While Stony Brook is a great escape from the hectic city life, I realized I could never get rid of the inner New York in me. It really shaped who I am and I notice it every day, even in the little things, like when I naturally walk fast, and someone asks me "Where are you rushing to go?" Of course, I'd have to explain to them that this is the pace I'm used to walking, thanks to the busy streets of Manhattan.

Overall, I'm glad that I physically came out of my comfort zone and experienced life outside of the city. It made me understand all the perks of living in the city when I hadn't realized them before and only noticed the cons. It also is refreshing to live amongst nature for a change, but in the end, the sight of tall buildings and close-knit neighborhoods will always look the most familiar to me.

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Going To College Out of State is Hard, but It's worth It

A freshman's perspective on going to college far away from home.

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Growing up, I always knew I wanted to go to the University of Wisconsin. When I was accepted this past December, to say that I was ecstatic is an understatement. I couldn't be happier that all of my fond memories of State Street and Badger Football would soon be part of my regular life.

I've lived in a suburb of Seattle my whole life. I grew up in a wonderful place, with plenty of things to do and well-funded schools. Despite this, I always thought something was missing. I am a person who is excited by the unknown and unfamiliar, and I realized I was bored with Seattle.

I needed a change so that one day I could come back home, and appreciate my city with a new perspective in mind.

Going to college far away is exciting, but difficult in its own way. The first bump in the road I hit was trying to figure out where to order all of my dorm stuff to! Luckily, my grandparents who live in Milwaukee offered to store my mountain of shipments in their spare room until move-in. This is a small example on a long list of reasons why it is necessary to have some sort of family or friends nearby — things at school will get overwhelming, and having people to go "home" to temporarily is essential.

I am the only person from my graduating class to attend UW-Madison this fall. That being said, it is freeing and terrifying to know no one in a new place. This is where I owe my gratitude to the UW Class of 2022 Facebook page — I met so many new people through it that when I got to SOAR, I had a whole group of friends waiting to meet me (including my lovely roommate). Even though this was the first time I had met my new friends, I felt like I had known many of them for a long time because of how often we communicated before orientation. The connections I made those few days are unbeatable, and I know that I would not have jumped in as much as I did if I had a person from home to rely on.

The hardest part about going out of state is leaving home for real. Although I have a few weeks left before move-in, there have been times this summer when I got overwhelmed with the fact that this may be the last time I do a lot of my favorite things in the places I love, with the people I know best. Leaving familiarity is a challenge for everyone, no matter how bad you may want change.

Knowing I am about to make so many new friends and memories are what drives me past the heartbreaking aspect of going away.

To all of my friends from home and all of the places in Seattle, I will always love: I promise I won't forget you, and I will be home soon. To Madison and all of the new people and experiences that await me: I couldn't be more ready.

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11 Ways To Prepare For Your Best Homecoming Weekend Yet

Trust me, you need to plan ahead.

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Homecoming weekend is highly celebrated among colleges. If you're into sports, it's a game you don't want to miss. If you aren't a sports fan, celebrating with friends and family is something to look forward to. Something everyone can agree to be of the best aspects is the food. Going from tailgate to tailgate seeing what each spot is grilling is always an adventure; and of course, belly-filling. Prepare for the best homecoming yet with these easy tips.

1. Eat a good breakfast

This is SO important. Even if you are planning on eating at tailgate, you should still eat breakfast. Plan a big breakfast with your friends before leaving for the day. Each person can bring something different, that way you have a selection to choose from. (PS: mimosas are a must)

2. Find a tailgate spot...or a couple

You're going to want to bounce from tailgate to tailgate. Possibly buy your own tailgate, or plan and see which of your friends already have one! This way when the day comes around, you know where you're going.

3. Buy your game tickets ahead of time

This is a tip for those who are planning on going to the game. The day of, lines are usually way too long. It's best to just buy them ahead of time so you don't need to worry or wait.

4. Make jello shots the night before

Jello shots are such a fun way to celebrate! There are a ton of recipes you can find on Pinterest. Here's one I've done many times.

5. Make time in your schedule for an afternoon nap

If you're waking up at 7 a.m. to pregame, you're going to need a nap. Especially if you plan on celebrating all day!

6. Prepare an outfit

This is the time to rep your school in a fun way! Face stickers, glitter, its all a must.

7. Get a big group of friends together

The entire school is getting together to celebrate, there is no better time for your friends to all meet one another.

8. Plan a good place to get breakfast the next morning

To finish the celebration, grab a bite to eat with everyone. It's the perfect place to talk about all the memories and things that happened the day before.

9. Share your location with your friends

Getting lost at the tailgate is not fun. Being in a sea full of people and having no idea where any of your friends went seems like a nightmare. I would suggest sharing your location with your friends the night before!

10. Drink Gatorade throughout the day and the morning after

Don't forget to replenish those electrolytes! If you want to avoid a hangover, just do it.

11. Prepare for memories that will last a lifetime

The memories you make will be unexpected and plenty.

Can you tell how excited I am for homecoming? You should be just as excited. However, keep in mind that you can only plan so much. Just remember to have fun! That's what weekends like this one are all about.

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