Five Things To Know About Moving from Socal to Rohnert Park

Moving away from home is hard for anyone, especially a first time freshman.  You’re 18, and on your own for the first time! Nothing is familiar, you don’t have your parents here to hold your hand or your friends to help you; everything's different. I am a certified, born and raised southern California girl. I would spend everyday on the beach over the summer, I own one pair of flip flops that I wear everyday, and I don’t exactly know the definition of cold.  For some of these reasons and many more, I decided to move from Los Angeles to Sonoma County in hopes that I may like, if not love, small town America.  Before I moved here, my vision of Rohnert Park was a small, quaint town that was just small enough to accommodate my romanticized idea of a small town, but close enough to a city so I wouldn’t lose my sanity. After living here for just over a month, I am pretty familiar with the dynamic of the town and here are some of the biggest differences between city life and country life:

  1. NOTHING is opened past 9:00 pm!

In L.A I could have a craving for falafel if I wanted to, and be able to find it at 1:00 A.M, but here even Mcdonald's closes at 11!

    2. Expect to be hearing country music everywhere you go.

I had only ever heard of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. I have never owned a pair of cowboy boots or wanted to go line dancing, but after living here for less than a month, I have gone to Hunter Hayes and Chris Young concerts at the Green Music Center and have seen ACTUAL COWBOYS.  I thought they only existed in Clint Eastwood movies!

    3. People are INSANELY friendly here!

I was warned that, unlike nasty city folk, people would actually smile at you when walking by instead of a quick upturn of the lip, but I didn’t take them seriously!  My first week here, I walked by a girl who gave me the biggest smile anyone had ever given me and I honestly freaked out.  I thought I had something in my teeth, or that maybe I knew her but forgot who she was, or maybe she was just crazy.  I then realized I was the crazy one after someone pointed out that’s just what friendly people do.

    4. There are farms everywhere!

Be prepared to pass by your fair share of pastures, because this school is surrounded by farm life.  The other day, I saw chickens in the walgreens parking lot! Apparently it’s very normal for them to be there, but it didn’t stop me from trying to avoid them at all costs in fear of the clucking demons trying to peck my ankles off.

    5. Seasons do exist!

Living in southern California is great! But we don’t experience the changing color of the leaves or the delight of cute fall clothes.  It's generally very hot all through October and doesn’t cool down till mid November and stays that way through february.  But those four cold months in the year are generally just cloudy and windy, while the rest of the time is sunny, beach weather.  I have been told numerous times that when it gets cold, I will be wearing leggings with jeans over them and heavy coats because I have never experienced true cold before.  

Although I miss home every single day, moving to Rohnert Park has been a great experience! I have made some great new friends and memories that will last me a lifetime.