By OSI Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath
Enjoying the vibes of Minnesota.
I was born in the state of Illinois, Elk Grove Village to be exact. Living in the area of Elk Grove and also Joliet during my childhood. I grew up going to catholic school and living what I considered to be a normal childhood. Near my eighth birthday my parents had gotten a divorce and my mom decided to move to Minnesota with my step dad, where I had to make the decision of whom to live with. For any child in this non-ideal situation it can be hard to choose one single parent to live with especially being at such a young age. I had chosen to live with my mom and create a new life in Minnesota.
From what I remember Minnesota wasn’t such a scary place for me when I had first arrived, I was a very outgoing child, which did make it easier. On top of that, I thankfully had enjoyed my new Dad and siblings, whom made me, feel very welcome in my new family.
Not to mention that I now lived in the state that had the Mall of America! At the time, being as young as I was it was a great time because they had a theme park called “Camp Snoopy” with rides that related to the Peanuts characters and that’s not all… they also had a play area related to General Mills where you could make your own Cereal! Every child’s sugary dream!
As time went on…growing up in Minnesota, I started to associate myself more with Minnesota than Illinois, I was from Minnesota! In my eyes Minnesota and Illinois have some differences. I never noticed them in my younger years going back and fourth to visit my dad here in Illinois. It wasn’t until I started being here full time as a college student that I began to notice the differences.
Of course the first one being, the accent, obviously I had never noticed it while I was in Minnesota but once I started introducing myself to people all that changed. I would get comments like “Oh my gosh your accent is so cute!” and I would be so confused because I never thought I had one. Also I had certain words that as Minnesotans say differently because of our thick “O’s” like “about”, “home”, etc. At first I was very conscientious about my accent and tried my best to sound “normal”, but realized I loved my little “O” sound I had in words and also didn’t want to lose sight of my roots in Minnesota.
It has been nice being back “home” in the city of Chicago but I do see those differences. The city of Chicago is a very cultured place with such rich history and many different people fill the city. The atmosphere is also very different. Seeing that I grew up in a place that is referred to as an area where everyone is extremely nice to one another…Minnesota Nice. Every now and then I will mention to people that I’m from Minnesota and they’ll respond with “It’s so weird how nice Minnesota people are” when I hear that I really never know what to say because shouldn’t everyone be nice when you first meet them?
Just one of the many beautiful views in Minnesota.
The atmosphere in each Chicago is full of buildings and sights to see, while Minnesota (where I grew up) and surrounding areas are very environmental sights with those sights being bluffs and of course the 10,000 lakes. So the big picture is much different.
Whenever I visit these sights in Minnesota I get a nostalgic type of feeling that just gives me peace of mind. My friends and I always come together and talk about our different sights… we refer to them as vibes. Being in a place like Minnesota, the vibes are again very nostalgic because of its great beauty. Not saying that Chicago is not a beautiful place because it truly is a great place and I love being here, but at times when I want to get away I see myself going back to Minnesota because of its environmental beauty and vibes.
Well with that said, now that I am in Chicago for studying at DePaul University, with the possibility of making this my home after college once again. I am very excited to possibly make Chicago my home again, even though my bank account might not be happy about it. I will never lose sight of my home back in Minnesota and will always make sure I visit whenever I’m stressed because Minnesota is set as my ultimate happy place. I do hope that people will enjoy my Minnesota Nice style while making Chicago my home.
So I have been living in Chicago for a few months now and the ironic thing is that while I was on break in Minnesota, I was telling my friends and family things like, “I can’t wait to be back home” or “Back home we have…” Which is why I can now say that I can’t wait for what the city has to offer me and what lies ahead for my future.
“Home is not a place- it’s a feeling” – Anonymous
Erin and her new home – Chicago!
..Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity!