As a senior in high school two years ago, I knew I wanted to go to California for school. My brother had done it before me, and, by the looks of it, he was having the time of his life. Having been born and raised in New York, I needed a change. I loved the idea of living in a city, and I didn’t want to feel isolated at college. College is a time of change and a time of growth, and I felt that I could do that only if I felt inspired. To be inspired, I need the drum of a city and the buzz of people: something about going to school in a complete suburb didn’t really fit that vibe. So, I found my beautiful West Coast campus.
When I got here, I wasn’t surprised that I was one of the few students I’d met who hailed from the East Coast, much less from out of state. Coming from New York, I also wasn’t surprised when I was asked time and time again which city I liked better: New York, or Los Angeles. The choice wasn’t hard last year — I was naturally a bit biased towards the former. But now, after spending a year on the sunny side of the country, I’m not so sure. While New York has its perks (the better pizza, my entire family, and actual seasons), L.A. isn't half bad. It’s a pleasant change in attitude and a needed change in atmosphere. The noticeable relaxed vibes on the West Coast are so nice that you sometimes forget that December’s supposed to be cold.
But, home is home. So where do I stand? It changes. Coming home over break is needed, and, while you might not ever be able to really come home again, the four-hour flight across the country is a lovely release. There’s nothing like landing in JFK and being back in your element. I don’t drive (I don’t have a license…whoops), so coming to a place where I don't need to get behind the wheel is comforting. It reminds me that I want to live here again, and that New York is where I belong.
Was coming to Los Angeles the right choice? Of course it was. It gave me a chance to meet new people and understand a completely different way of living. But, when all is said and done, would I move home as soon as I graduated? Of course.
A home is just a house and a city is just a cluster of blocks and avenues, but home is the feeling you get when you’re there. Los Angeles, you’re incredible in your own right, but you're not home.