My First 30 Days by: Cali Parisi OSI EDGE Team

Before coming to DePaul, I had no idea what to expect.  I had heard of what college was like from friends, movies, and family members.  When I moved into my dorm, it all started to hit me.  From unpacking my clothes to rearranging the furniture in the room, everything was my roommates and my decision.  The freedom was starting to set in already.  As sad as it was to move out of my cozy home in the suburbs, I was ready for this new adventure in a big city.

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After spending Labor Day getting to know my roommate and new neighbors, it was time to start my Discover Chicago: Summer Sports class.  I was both nervous and excited for this class.  It was my number one choice for discover classes, so I was really glad I got this opportunity. I was nervous to go into a class without knowing a single person, but this class proved to not be scary at all.  On the first day, we took a bus to Diversey Lanes and bowled with my new classmates.  It was so much fun to just get to know everyone in such a light setting.

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The next few days would be the best ones yet.

The next day we went to U.S. Cellular Field and toured the stadium.  Being a die-hard White Sox fan, this was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.  We were able to go to the press box, walk on the field, the dugout, and many other cool places.  We also had guest speaker’s talk to us while sitting in the dugout, so that was just amazing.  Sitting where my idols have sat just made everything seem more real.  I now have a whole new perspective while watching the White Sox games.  Later that day, we went to Comcast Sports Chicago Studio and toured that as well.  David Kaplan was our guest speaker and we were even able to see him do a live telecast.  Being behind the scenes was something I had never experienced, so it was neat to see all the equipment and work that went into it.

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The day after that adventure, we traveled to Arlington Race Track, which was another spectacular day.  We had a guest speaker talk to us about behind the scenes work in regards to the horses, gambling, and other things.  I had been to the racetrack previously in my life, but was never able to gamble on my own due to my age, so this time was a lot more entertaining.  Learning that sort of system was so exciting and thrilling.

At the end of that week on Friday, we went to a restaurant called “Deuces and Diamonds” that is in Wrigleyville.  The manager talked to us about all kinds of events they host and the atmosphere that is around.  The restaurant was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.  After eating there, we went to a Cubs game.  Even though I am a huge White Sox fan, I do not hate the Cubs so I was able to survive being there!  I had never been to a Cubs game in my life, so it was actually a very cool experience.  I had a great time with my new friends, even though it rained a ton at the game.

That weekend my new neighbors in my dorm and I started to explore the city.We walked all around campus to start, but ended up going downtown sometimes during the weekend.  Using the L trains is so much fun once you get to know them. I am still confused with the bus system, but I am learning.  Meeting new people was the main mission of that weekend, and I definitely succeeded with that.

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After the weekend, it was still immersion week, so on Monday we went back to the Cell and went to a White Sox game.  It was a night game, which is my favorite kind of game, so that was great.  I had been to some White Sox games in the past, but I will never get sick of going.  We also took the Red Line to get there, which I had never done before.  Taking public transportation to a baseball game was a new experience that I didn’t mind.

Finally for my last day of immersion week we had our service project assignment at a warehouse for the Chicago Marathon.  Our job was to put together the volunteer credentials.  It was a very annoying task, but we completed the project.  I was also inspired to actually volunteer for the Chicago Marathon race day, which was a ton of fun.  I convinced my friend to join me, and she agreed.  We got a free jacket and hat too!

After immersion week real classes began and life started to become more realistic and not just fun and games.  My new classes are challenging, but with hard work and dedication I know I can pull off good grades.

Living in my hometown of Prospect Heights, IL, which is a suburb, is a lot different than living in the city.  The city of Chicago is home to so many opportunities and experiences.  Public transportation in the city is actually the best.  Being able to take a train or bus pretty much anywhere is super convenient.  The city is also very busy and loud, which I like.  When I go to sleep at night, I hear noises of trains and horns.  In my hometown, everything was so quiet compared to here.  Not that either is a bad thing; they are just both different in their own ways.  There is never a dull moment in the city.

Deciding to come to DePaul was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I love the area of Lincoln Park and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

It is busy, but not too busy at the same time.  I like how we are so close to the city, but we seem to be in our own little world.  I like my classes here and I like having a small class size.  I have made so many new friends that I can see lasting a lifetime.  I am also close enough to home and I know I can go home whenever I want so that makes me happy.  My two best friends from back home have also visited me due to the proximity of DePaul to my hometown in the suburbs.  I love having people that I know and love nearby, and it just made the adjustment process a lot less difficult.

I absolutely love DePaul and can’t wait for the memories and experiences to continue!

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