Daera Thomas (COM '20) on Life in Boston Versus Chicago

Boston and Chicago have many similarities. Both cities are located on large bodies of water and have a lot of history. They also have similar weather with very cold winters and hot summers. Both have nice weekend getaway options; the lakes and forests in Wisconsin are similar to those in New Hampshire. But Boston and Chicago definitely have their differences as well. Boston is far smaller and more expensive than Chicago. Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is similar to Boston’s Back Bay, but it’s much more affordable. Boston is closer to other major cities whereas Chicago is not.

Daera Thomas spent her whole life growing up in Chicago. Now, as a junior at Boston University, she’s experiencing what it’s like to live in another city and has made up her mind for the city she prefers in the Boston vs. Chicago debate.

HC: What was your experience growing up in Chicago?

DT: My experience growing up in Chicago was definitely unique. I grew up in the same house that my mom and grandmother grew up in. My family and I live on the South Side of Chicago, but my school and most of my friends were on the North Side, so I was very connected to different parts of the city. 

HC: What's your favorite thing about Chicago?

DT: The city has so much history, for me personally and overall. For me, growing up in Chicago was all about discovering new activities and really exploring all the different activities each neighborhood would offer. 

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HC: Why did you choose to attend Boston University?

DT: My mom and I were exploring schools in Boston when we passed BU on the T. I instantly fell in love. I had a moment where I felt like this campus could be home for me for the next four years. The student body is large enough that I can blend in when I feel I need to, but small enough that I know I can stand out when I want to. 

HC: What's your favorite thing about Boston?

Everyone has such fierce loyalty to the city. The strong city pride reminds me a lot of Chicago, so it definitely helps me find a way to connect to the city.

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HC: Let's settle the debate once and for all. Which is better: Boston or Chicago?

DT: Definitely Chicago. Boston is too small for me. I like the idea of getting lost in a city and I have a hard time doing that here. Chicago is also important to me and my family, and it’s hard to beat that history. 

Well, it looks like Chicago wins this time! We still love our small Boston town though. 


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