Although going to school away from the suburbs and being on my own is fun and a nice change, Virginia is very different from my hometown, but it is also kinda similar. Maybe the midwest isn't so different from the east coast? Considering the fact that I have to go back to Illinois in a couple of months, in order to not get homesick, I have to find Chicago in Harrisonburg.
The first thing that I noticed is that the flat land and I emphasize flat because the Shenandoah Valley is very mountainous, looks the same to me. Especially neighborhoods and farmland reminds me a lot of central Illinois where my grandparents are live. The mountains around JMU are very beautiful, though, and they are a little bit more than the flat plains of Illinois. But, there is more open land with crops.
There is also a "beach" situated around both states. Granted, Virginia Beach is an actual beach, but the Lake Michigan beach in Chicago is pretty nice too. Even though the water is ice cold and the sand is packed with people.
One reason I am grateful for growing up in Illinois instead of Virginia is that of the very complicated road system and long, windy streets that seem to be never-ending throughout the east coast. Coming from a person that gets motion sick very easy, going 65 miles an hours on a very long windy road is not ideal. The traffic and road system is also very confusing, especially in DC because not only there is a ton of traffic, but the roundabouts and intersections are probably doubled.
The weather in both places is not all that different. It does get warmer in Virginia and compared to my home, but when it seasons change it's at about the same time. It actually gets pretty cold in Virginia, too, although maybe it's not as windy, bitter, and snowy, but its winter nonetheless.
Both places also have a big city that is in very close proximity. This makes both places very nice to live because you can live in a quiet suburb and visit the city on occasion. DC and Chicago both have there drawn. DC has the history, monuments, and the tours. It is quite frankly my favorite place in the United States. Chicago is nice too. There are monuments like the bean (if you could call it that), restaurants, lots of places to shop, and amazing views. It is more like New York City (I have actually never been) or even Saint Louis. Either way, both cities are full of culture and offer their own unique attractions.
Overall, I will be missing Chicago while I am in JMU, but I won't forget to appreciate Virginia for its beauty because although the two places are widely different, they are the same in their own way, like many places in the United States. What I have realized is that the states that make up this country aren't all that different, and we should all be grateful to live here.