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The City Living Experience from the Perspective of a College Girl

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Moving to the city for college can allow access to amazing opportunities that were never thought to be possible before as well as provide an endless amount of stories to share with friends and family back home. For women, this usually stands very true.  

As a girl coming from a town in the middle of Pennsylvania that is almost completely surrounded by fields and farms, Philadelphia is quite the culture shock. Here, there are an endless amount of jobs, internships, and people who are all living similar, yet extremely different lives. Women have always been met with disadvantages when it comes to the professional field, and this, unfortunately, will most likely stand true for many years to come. Although that fact doesn’t mean that the idea hasn’t been met with large pushback. Over the past couple of decades, the number of women attending college has skyrocketed. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 1970, women earned only 9.1 percent of bachelor’s degrees in the business field. As of the year 2000, that number rose to a whole 50 percent. Women are much more likely now than ever to pursue a college degree in order to learn and provide for themselves. How does this all tie into going to a city college? It is simple really. The job market in the city is immensely larger than it is in suburban and rural locations. The increase in demand for jobs opens up countless opportunities for groups of people that never thought it would be possible before.  

In the city, I as a woman feel as though I can walk into any establishment and hold as much power as I see fit. In many places, there is no one around who knows who I am now, let alone who I was when I was thirteen, which cannot be said everywhere. Women are often underestimated when it comes to anything remotely professional and knowing that we should not be, gives us a slight upper hand. I have the ability to look out my dorm room window and see a world that I have been dreaming of since I was a little girl. It is hard to tell exactly who or what is in those tall buildings with the lights that never seem to turn off but it is an empowering feeling knowing that the choice to become one of those people is available.  

Every upside does have its downsides though. Walking through the city, it is rare to see a woman sitting alone, or at least not without some sort of pepper spray, taser, or noise maker in her hand. A train station almost never feels safe, and in the presence of too many men, that feeling of holding power can disappear almost entirely. Worried parents may send an abundance of text messages saying to “be careful” and “stay safe,” and while knowing that they care is appreciated, it does become clear why you are in the city and not them. You always have to make sure that you see everything that happens to your drink from the time that it is poured until it reaches your hand and then after that, securely place your palm or cup condom over the top so no one slips something in while you are distracted. That is, of course, if you can even acquire a cup to begin with as some places, a.k.a fraternities, have deemed women holding open cups as a liability. That seems to be their only logical way of fixing the drugging issue. 

As a whole, I see coming to a city college as an amazing decision so far. I am enjoying living here as a girl, and I choose to try and focus on what life could be, but that cannot be said for everyone. There are two very different sides to this story, both of which can change drastically day by day and experience by experience. It can never truly be said what exactly it is like for any group of people to live in such a wide and diverse place, but it is fair to say that these arguments ring true for most. 

Cassie Paioletti is a freshman at temple university pursuing a degree in communication studies. This is her first year writing for Her Campus.