Hi everybody, my name is Spencer! I’m originally from Bothell, Washington, which is about 30 minutes away from Seattle (Go Hawks). Having now been at DePaul for over two months, it’s about time to look back at everything that has happened so far. I don’t know about your experience, but my freshman year fall quarter has kept me very busy, to say the least. Between orientations, involvement fairs, myriad other groups vying for your participation, and the pace of the quarter system itself, if you don’t stop every once in a while to check what day it is, you might find that a whole month has gone by. That’s how I felt when my first thirty days were up.
Chicago is completely different than what I’ve been accustomed to for the last eighteen years of my life, that’s for sure.
For the most part, the cities in the Seattle area consist of many suburban areas with a ‘downtown’ area that consists of twenty or thirty high rises grouped together. Some don’t really have a downtown at all. Other than Seattle itself, the cities don’t really feel like cities. Chicago on the other hand is huge! Even the area around Howard red line stop still feels very urban and still part of the city. Everything is a lot closer together here than it is back home. Here it’s possible to walk reasonably quickly to a wide variety of restaurants, stores, and other resources. From my house I could walk to a few stores and restaurants, everything else requires a car or bus ride. Yet there are some comforting similarities between my two homes. Lake Michigan, for instance, is a suitable replacement for living near the Pacific Ocean and other bodies of water in Washington. The weather, at least this fall, is quite similar to the weather in the Pacific North West. I understand that it’s been unusually wet for Chicago, which is unfortunate because I really like the rain.
I’m so glad that I was able to come here to DePaul and live in the city of Chicago. With the transportation systems here it is possible to easily access every part of the city without a car. There are almost endless possibilities that exist within the city, and it’s just a matter of finding which CTA stops you need to use and you’re there! One objective that is very important to have while living in Chicago is to try all of the food. The number of restaurants here in Chicago alone is staggering, but the fact that so many are so good becomes mind-blowing! In my first two weeks, before the meal plan dining options were available, I consumed quite a few slices of pizza, notably from Lou Malnati’s which, if you somehow have never been to one, is the best pizza place around. During that time I was also introduced to Insomnia cookies, a delivery cookie service! I am barely past the start of my food journey here in Chicago and I love it so far. Although the Pacific North West will always be my real home, Chicago will have a special place in my heart.
There is a lot to like about DePaul itself as well. Obviously one is being located in Chicago. It’s a huge city with many opportunities for students. It’s probably the best college town ever. Another is that it feels like a small school even though over 25,000 students are enrolled here. Another is that in general the people here are pretty friendly. I’ve said hello and shot the breeze with people I run into while walking around or eating.
This could be partly attributed to the awesome shoes that I wear sometimes, or even the cool shirts that I have, but for most part it’s the fact that everyone wants to meet new people.
I did get a free drink for wearing my Star Wars shirt once, which was pretty sweet. Another thing that I love is that there is a student group for almost everything, so there are no worries about not having a way to meet people with similar interests. The quarter system may force you to work like crazy, but DePaul is a really great school. Don’t forget about the month and a half long winter break either.
I’ll be the first to admit that it is hard to move from the place that you have lived for your entire life where all of your friends are to a new and different place like Chicago and having to create a new group of friends from scratch. I didn’t really know many people the whole first month I was here. Combine that with the fact that there was a lot of time to kill before classes started and I found myself sitting in my room with my roommates more often than not. By now though I know about ten people that I’ll become good friends with. It starts off slow, but give it time and you’ll find the people that you get along with just fine.
I spent quite a few hours here during the first two weeks.