Living in Newark is a contentious topic because we all come from different backgrounds. For me, attending college in Newark is like returning to my childhood.
I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic urban area, but later in life moved to the suburbs. The transition wasn’t easy, even if it was to a ‘better’ neighborhood and a ‘better’ community . I longed for the honking of NJ Transit trains passing along the tracks, the quick family get-togethers that could happen whenever I wanted, and the local spots I would check-out on a whim with my family. I think I grew emotionally attached to my hometown because all my childhood memories were there.
Wherever I go, I do not stay too long, and I prefer it that way, because I like to be the one leaving. You see, moving away is normal for me. But that does not mean I do not have remorse as I part ways from familiarity. So, I totally understand if you do not enjoy where you are right now but keep this in mind, next time you wait for a train ride to that place you don’t like:“go where life takes you.”For me, being in Newark is a relearning of how to be in a city again and navigate its ins and outs. I get to experience what I loved so much about city life.
Would I like more greenery on campus? Of course, I would! But I see the community and hospitality that is harvested here on campus, evident in the way people hold the door for me when I am about to enter my dorm building after a long tiring day. If you look out your window at night, when you’re upset over your pile of homework, you might just catch the lights of the city after dusk. Don’t you just love hearing the bell in the church tower tolling right around the corner?
Going to college is great because you get to go somewhere where nobody knows you; you may not know where your future is headed, but your past does not matter anymore. You are free from judgement, and you may feel a little lonely amidst the crowd, but you get to experience life on your own for the very first time.
Never forget where you come from, but do not let it define you.