My First 30 Days by: Erin McGrath OSI EDGE Team


It’s the big city, the city of dreams, the city everyone wants to be a part of, and finally I am!

Throughout all my life I have been coming to Chicago to see my family and to see the city that brought such excitement into my life and now I’m living here. I’ve always wanted to live in the city and see what it was like to finally be a city girl.

Now living in the city of Chicago it is very different from my hometown of St. Paul Minnesota. Where I lived it may have been a large town but it seemed very small after living there for 10 years, it felt like one big circle. We had our Target, McDonald’s, the mall, and our high school. After being there for 10 years I began to get very bored with my surroundings because I felt like I was doing the same things everyday.

Now being in the city of Chicago it is a lot different. Even though I may have been excited to come to the city for school I was also very scared at the same time, because now I was going to be on my own rather than being with family going to the same landmarks of Chicago. After the first few days being in the city I actually couldn’t wait to get out and explore my surroundings. While I was here for the first few days that I didn’t have class I went out by myself and attacked the city with full force. I had gone to little boutiques, little bakeries like “Sweet Mandy B’s” which I may add is the best place since sliced bread and recommend going if you have never been there!

I also went shopping on Michigan Avenue, which is every girl’s fantasy, well at least mine. I also went to a Cubs game which was a lot of fun because I haven’t gone to one since I was 10 years old, and also a Sox game, which I have never been. They were both such a great experience and I was even able to go on the field of the Sox stadium for my Discover class which was amazing!

The biggest difference between being in the city of Chicago and being back home in Minnesota for me would have to be the means of transportation. While being in Minnesota I had my own car and was able to go anywhere whenever I wanted and be there right away. Now being in the city, the train is my only means of transportation. The trains were my biggest fear when coming to the city I never enjoyed taking them with my family because they scared me when going underground and with how many different trains there are to get to all the different places of Chicago. In my days of preparing for becoming a city college student I went through many panic attacks with my mom about the trains and told her how terrified I was of getting lost and not getting on the right train to where I needed to go. A way for her to calm me down was by saying the trains here are just like the “Monorails” in Disneyworld (I am Disneyworld obsessed), this helped me a lot as weird as it is.Throughout my first few days I went on the train like crazy, and now love going on them and don’t have any problem taking them.

I also realize my mom was very wrong about saying that they are like the “Monorails” in Disney because they don’t sing happy Disney songs inside them and bring you to an amusement park, but it was helpful at the time.

Now trains are my favorite means of transportation and I rather not drive myself in a car, even though I might get the occasional feeling of driving around in my car just to jam out to my music. That is one thing I miss about not being able to drive my car anywhere because I can no longer drive around by myself, with my stereo turned on high, and scream and shout to my music. I mean, I could probably do that on the train but I think I would get some very interesting stares on the train.

When I think of both Chicago and Minnesota they are both very different from each other but now being here… I’d rather be in the city. Some may say “home is where the heart is” and yes that is true, Minnesota will always be home, but I enjoy being in the city so much more. While being in the city there is so much to do and so many new things to try and find, but while being home I felt like I was looking at the same people and doing all the same things everyday of my life. Yes, the city can get overwhelming at times with the constant sirens and honks going around on the streets but there is something always going on. In all actuality Chicago has become my new home, yes I may go back to Minnesota to see my family and what it used to bring to me but I rather be in Chicago.

It’s just been the first thirty days and I can’t wait for what else Chicago has in store for me.

~Erin McGrath


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