Being from New Jersey, I’ve grown up with New York City. I’ve always loved how it was a city of endless opportunity; there are so many fun things to do, amazing restaurants to eat at, spectacular shows to see, and groundbreaking organizations and companies to explore. I always pictured myself one day living there, so when I got the opportunity to intern in Manhattan last summer, I was ecstatic to begin learning the city I envisioned myself living in.
However, this summer brought me to Chicago. And while I was so excited to be around friends from school and live in a major city for the first time, I was skeptical that it would be the place for me.
But over these past few weeks, I can’t help but think that Chicago offers way more than I had originally anticipated. I’ve even begun to wonder what my life would look like in Chicago post-graduation.
Just to name a few, these are some of my favorite things that I’ve done in Chicago. My roommate is a Second City intern, and we’ve been able to go to a few shows, which are all really funny! I love that Chicago is right on the water, and living right by Grant Park and the Buckingham Fountain sets me and my roommates up for sunset dinners to-go by the water. Being a Jersey girl, I also love having the beach readily available any day of the week (but of course, it’s no match to the Jersey Shore).
But aside from this, I love that Chicago makes you feel very at-home in such a big place. Each neighborhood (like Lincoln Park and Wicker Park) is calm, family-friendly, and warm, so you’re not too intimidated by sky-scrapers every which way. It’s also a lot less crowded and less high-paced than New York, which is refreshing and makes the transition a lot smoother and less intimidating. I can’t wait to keep exploring all that Chicago has to offer (with its different neighborhoods, endless food festivals, etc.), and seeing where this experience leads me after graduation!