As I count down the days until I walk across the graduation stage, I’ve had to prepare for a lot of goodbyes.
Some of my friends are moving to other states, my parents are retiring in Florida, I’ll be leaving my Rogers Park apartment and saying goodbye to Loyola. But I’m lucky enough to stay in Chicago.
Growing up, the city was a towering presence over my suburban life. I visited my cousins living downtown and wondered how they could ever figure out how to get around such a massive place. In high school, I got off the Metra with friends feeling small, trying to figure out the L like it was a different language.
Now it’s hard for me to imagine living somewhere else. Chicago has taught me a lot — how to parallel park, that I should avoid any restaurants on “Chicago’s best” lists and that lake beaches can be superior to ocean beaches. I’ve memorized the garbage truck schedule to avoid my dog pulling me in the other direction on our morning walks and know when to start running in order to catch the Red Line.
The city has also given me access to countless people who have been generous enough to share their stories with me — from activists to community members to business owners. I’ve been able to report on where the city strives and where it sometimes fails, but I’ve really gained an understanding of why so many people love it here.
Maybe one day I’ll move to another city — but I don’t think I’ll ever feel as at home as I do in Chicago.
It’s our second to last edition of the school year and we have some great stories for you. In news, Rogers Park activists get a win as Illinois’ Congress passes a bill to make life rings mandatory by the lakefront. In sports, a look at men’s volleyball and men’s golf. And in A&E, The Phoenix’s resident film critic, Aqib Rasheed, has not one, but two reviews this week.