The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Coming from a small town in the Western Slopes of Colorado, the move to college life in Boston was full of anticipation. When I applied to colleges during my senior year of high school, I loved the appeal of living in a city, where you are constantly surrounded by so much to do. Weekends filled with hiking and skiing were soon to become metropolitan adventures. My dream of city living came from the unknown — fantasies of walking through streets that made you feel minuscule among the looming buildings, having all sorts of people, food, and ideas at your very fingertips. The closest Target to my dorm was a five-minute walk away compared to a 45-minute drive back in Colorado — and that was exciting in and of itself.
The transition from rural to city life, however, came with unexpected stress. I saw myself anxious over how to best take advantage of my new city environment — an environment I had dreamed of for so long. I felt overwhelmed with the need to constantly be busy and to mirror the hustle and bustle around me. While there is so much to do in cities, it was different from what I was used to. At home, my days were spent driving to remote lakes or hammocking. But in Boston, there wasn’t the same access to what I had taken for granted back in Colorado. The activities I thought were normal were quickly replaced with a seemingly not-so-diverse list of spending money at restaurants and shops. To me, this didn’t feel as meaningful as how I spent my time at home. Was city living just a way to blow through my bank account?
Luckily with time, I learned to take advantage of living in a city in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me or cost money. To my surprise, finding nature in a city environment is easier than expected, and cities are filled with a variety of people, art, and music that small, rural towns tend to lack. While it is still different than living in a rural environment, I have found ways to find satisfaction in my day-to-day life, even without the natural scenery of the Western Slopes in my backyard. I began finding joy in picnics, outdoor farmers markets, art galas that are sprinkled throughout Boston, biking, and painting outside. I indulged in my own version of city livin’.