From West Coast to East Coast: My Experience So Far

From the second I stepped foot on East Coast soil, I’ve known that there was something different about it here. Maybe it’s the air (i.e. the humidity), or the trees that I saw from the window of my Uber on the way to the hotel, but there is a feeling here that there simply isn’t in California. At first, this feeling made me feel like I was living in someone else’s body, wearing clothes that weren’t mine and seeing things I wasn’t seeing. After a while, though, I think I’ve somehow just become a different version of myself. Linnea 2.0: East Coast edition.



Here, there are oak trees instead of palm trees, and forests instead of beaches. There are slightly rushed conversations and speed-walking down city streets instead of the leisurely stroll so (stereotypically) common back home in California. All of these are little things, but they add up. For instance, when I ask for my latte “half-decaf” here the baristas look at me with a mixture of confusion and distaste on their face before simply labeling it “decaf” and moving on. 


The thing that stands out to me most is the way I’m changing as I’m here longer. The differences are subtle, but I wonder how I’ll seem to people back home. Do I walk and talk faster now? Will, I go back to California and feel uncomfortable in this place that used to be home? When I meet people at Brandeis who are from California, I breathe a sigh of relief because they understand. I can feel all the new layers that have been forming around me fall away, and we talk about all of the little things that we miss about home.

But even as I’m changing and everything’s new and different, I like it. Not only that, I know it has to happen and that it’s important. Going to college on the East Coast is something I’ve always known that I wanted to do, and I’m doing it. I’m excited to see how I change as I’m here, and simultaneously which parts of me stay the same.