I spent most of my childhood in Southern California, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it. I got to spend endless days at the beach, got to go skiing on Big Bear Mountain, was always close to family in Mexico, and loved to cheer on the many LA and San Diego sports teams. I grew up in what felt like eternal sunshine and 70 degree weather. While this is the dream for most people I meet, I knew that I wanted to experience different things. People think I’m absolutely insane, but I chose to leave Southern California to come to the town of Carlisle, PA. Population: 18,916.
What people struggle the most to understand is that even though I lived in such a gorgeous beach community, I wasn’t necessarily happy. I briefly lived in Chicago, IL in 2011 and the rush of meeting new people and watching the seasons change was everything I wanted. Although it was a brief experience, coming back to California was a sad transition after the excitement of the Midwest. Going to high school in LA and not being thin, blonde, or athletic was a blur of being unhappy and setting my sights on what was inevitably going to come next.
Getting to choose what college I wanted to attend was stressful, but I had the opportunity to chose from schools across the nation which I had been accepted to. Finally, I wasn’t tied down to wherever my family was. Instead I got to chose based on where I wanted to be. Now here we are, two years down the road at Dickinson and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, but it makes me appreciate the little things so much more. When I get anxious about not leaving the 6 blocks that is campus, going on a quick drive past open fields, farms, and forests is a breath of fresh air that I could have never gotten in Los Angeles.
Sometimes people think that I’m kind of insane because I can find a pasture so gorgeous when I come from some of the most well known beaches in the country, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the simpler lifestyle of being away from cities with millions of people and the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan life. Maybe someday I’ll appreciate it again, but for now I’m pretty happy where I am.