Moving to Los Angeles, a 2,300 mile distance from my home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, has been a huge change to become adjusted. While unlike large portion of my peers at the University of Michigan, I am Catholic and have attended Catholic schools my entire life… until college. While there are many people who come from the same background as me at college, there are many more who have come from completely different backgrounds. Coming to Los Angeles, a city full of people from every walk of earth looking to satisfy some dream or aspiration in the sun-soaked city, was a huge shift from my predominately Christian suburb of Detroit but not so different (except for the weather) from my university that I’ve come to love.
That is one thing that that I’ve noticed here. Whenever someone finds out I am from Michigan, they always ask about the weather. Something that I’ve always lived with and never expected to become such an often-occurring question. I will say this, the weather is much more tolerable here in Los Angeles especially because the heat is dry rather than the humid, sweat inducing heat of Michigan.
Another identity I have come to appreciate about myself here is my willingness to be friendly and open to others. I never actually understood how true the Midwest cordial and kind attitude stereotype was until I realized that outside my bubble of kind customer service and customers of service in the Midwest, many places people aren’t as welcoming. In LA, when you walk down the street and give someone a friendly smile (something I do regularly back home and normally get a friendly smile back) I receive no form of acknowledgement, just a scowl as that person goes along their day. While it’s not like their being outright-ly rude, it’s definitely not what I am used to, but I will continue to be friendly because that’s one of the most important things that I have that I cherish from growing up in Michigan.