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Summer in the City: Pittsburgh Edition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Millersville chapter.

This summer I had the opportunity to live in Pittsburgh with my cousin Rachel, who is a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Growing up in suburbia, I had never experienced living in an urban environment. So, when I moved into my cousin’s apartment in mid-May and had my first taste of city life, I was having a bit of a tough time adjusting. With the support of my cousin and family I got through it and by the end of the summer I had grown to appreciate this sprawling, western Pennsylvania city.  

Here are some of my summer highlights:

  1. Exploring the different Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Like many other cities, Pittsburgh has multiple distinct neighborhoods that can be quite different from each other. With the help of my cousin and my car, I explored Oakland, South Side, Lawrenceville, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill. Each one has a unique feel to it due to the varied landscape, as Pittsburgh is the meeting point for three rivers: the Monongahela, the Allegheny, and the Ohio (Megan, if you are reading this, I will never forget your tour guide tips!) From eating bagels in Squirrel Hill to thrift shopping in Lawrenceville, I thoroughly enjoyed my time discovering these neighborhoods.  
  1. Volunteering with Days for Girls: My cousin has been involved with the nonprofit organization, Days for Girls, for a couple of years now. They are an international organization who creates and distributes reusable menstrual products to girls and women around the world. These essential period products enable girls to complete their education; without them, they would miss school during their monthly periods. My cousin had an internship with the Days for Girls collection site, located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Most Wednesday nights over the summer I got to visit her at work and help pack menstrual kits that were eventually sent to Cuba. We had a lot of fun together and the experience made me realize how grateful I am to have easy access to period products. Plus, it introduced me to new people. Which leads me to my last highlight… 
  1. Making new friends: My cousin introduced me to two people, Claire, and Megan, who also volunteer with Days for Girls. I am very close to my cousin, so it was awesome to spend the summer together, but I was happy to make new friends too. I went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival in downtown Pittsburgh with Claire and Megan, and we got to hang out a couple other times well. We had movie nights and went out to eat; it was nice to have a little group to have fun with. The next time I visit Pittsburgh, I hope to see them!  

My summer in Pittsburgh was a really cool experience and I’m happy to have done it with my cousin Rachel. There were definitely some challenges I had to work through, but I wanted to highlight my most positive summer takeaways. I am grateful for my time there and I know I will be back again soon. ‘Till next time, Pittsburgh!