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Spending Time in Nature as a Huge City Girl

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 NCSU chapter.

Transitioning from being surrounded by tall buildings to trees was overwhelming, to say the least. I was used to everything being really fast paced, like how I would run across the street because the cars would not stop for me, or finish a meal as soon as possible in a restaurant because there was a line waiting outside. 

All of a sudden I am in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is still a city, but there are trees everywhere, and the tiny apartments I am used to seeing are replaced by houses in the suburbs. Everything felt rural to me, and honestly, I am still adjusting to it. I like my day to be fulfilling, filled with events and surrounded with people I love. Now that I’m here, I feel like… something is missing. People here tend to live their lives at a more relaxing pace, they close their shops early and they will casually stop by to greet you. I am not saying that it’s a bad thing, I just feel out of place sometimes when everything is slowed down.

William B. Umstead State Park is located right at the center of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, making it really convenient to visit. I spent a couple of hours walking around and exploring the park with my dad a couple days after landing in the states, mainly because I was feeling too anxious about everything that’s going on. I just felt the need to use up my free time so I won’t have time to think about missing home. It is a huge park, at least in my opinion, with many hiking routes to choose from. Without knowing much about hiking, my dad and I randomly parked the car and visited whatever that was near us. I wandered around the forest, walked past a lake, and sat down to appreciate the view when I got tired. That was the day when I realized nature has a lot to offer. I never really cared about it back in Hong Kong; I was just too busy living my city life. 

So far, I have visited places like Lake Johnson Park and Eno River State Park in my three months of living in North Carolina, all of which are stunning in its own way. Nature has become my comfort place whenever I need a break. This is definitely not something I would have foreseen before coming here, since I hardly cared about nature at all for basically my whole life. It’s just magical to think that there is joy in unexpected surprises that I would never know about beforehand, and this gives me motivation and hope for my future in the United States


Julia Hung is a member of Her Campus at NC State. She is responsible for publishing articles about her interests and thoughts. This is her first year on Her Campus. Julia was born and raised in Hong Kong for 17 years before moving to North Carolina for college. She graduated high school in a local school in Hong Kong. Although her first language is Cantonese, she was involved in her school's English community, such as being the president of the English Club and participated in a couple of English debate competitions, which led her to be a proficient English speaker. Aside from that, she is also interested in business. She participated in a hackathon during summer break where she created a business model with her teammates. She is a freshman at NC State University intending to major in Accounting. She hopes to become a licensed accountant in the future. Julia likes being in nature, playing the piano, shopping, and being with friends in her free time. She likes listening to Cantopop and Kpop and her favorite Kpop group is Red Velvet. She is not really an active person but she is currently trying to pick up sports such as jump rope. She also loves Disney cartoons. A few of her comfort movies include Your Name, Howl's Moving Castle, and Peter Pan.