The Big City
I was looking forward to Thanksgiving break with eager anticipation, counting the days until I could go home and see my family. After weeks of tiresome patience, the day finally arrived. I packed my bags and drove north to the tiny, rural Wisconsin town I call home.
I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life and feel deeply connected to the cheese-loving, Green Bay Packer-fanatic, ice-fishing and deer-hunting state. If you’ve never tried real, fresh cheese curds, you seriously should. They are marvelous and really do squeak! My hometown is so small they don’t bother counting its inhabitants. The cornfield-turned-subdivision is sandwiched between farms and cow pastures, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. The closest big-name store is a 20 minute drive. The closest large city is an hour in either direction.
Needless to say, big cities overwhelm me. Before coming to Dominican, I had never used public transportation and rarely been in a city larger than Milwaukee. I was not used to navigating large crowds and lacked any semblance of map-reading skills. However, I had no idea how much I would love living so close to Chicago. Dominican is in a great location, nestled in a charming neighborhood just blocks from the fairly substantial village of Oak Park and a short Green Line ride from the city.
Although I have inserted my CTA transit card backwards more times than I care to admit and I can’t seem to maintain my balance on the ‘L’, I am getting better. I go downtown whenever I get the chance and enjoy exploring new parts of the city. I have seen Broadway plays, walked the lakefront, visited Navy Pier several times and eaten dim sum in Chinatown just to name a few. On my bucket list for the winter: the Willis Tower Skydeck, Christkindlmarket and ice skating in Millennium Park.
As I schlepped my stuff back to school after a wonderful week at home, I was sad to say goodbye to my home and family. At the same time, I was happy to return to my second home—an exciting place full of wonderful opportunities, great friends and good times.