I am a city girl by nature. I’m infatuated by everything: city noise, the bold skyscrapers against Chicago’s vast blue sky, the way people so freely express themselves. I love how small I feel living in the middle of a massive city.
But there is a give and take to trying to establish yourself in a city. Like a really powerful river, life here keeps pressing forward, regardless of if you are coming or not. Stop for one moment, and the rest of the world rushes around you. If you’re not careful, you will get swept away.
Therefore, when attending the fast-paced environment of college in the middle of an incredibly busy city, you must be grounded in something.
For me, it is the beauty of detail that helps me to fight against being overwhelmed by this current of college life. I find great joy in identifying a bit of something lovely in everything that is around me. A couple nights ago, I looked out of the window of SCE to see that the sky was a brilliant orange. I ran out to the West Terrace to see the photo above. In the midst of a busy schedule, I make sure to always set aside a few minutes to appreciate my environment.
- Have you ever noticed the way nature overtakes our campus in the summer and fall months? The rain makes everything brilliantly green, and flowers fill the campus with color. I spotted at least four different variations of sunflower.
- The quad is always warm, because it reflects so much sunlight.
- UH turns a nice gold color at sunset. In fact, everything becomes suddenly a wonderful warm hue.
- The roof of BSB is a perfect escape from the mad rush of campus between classes, and you can people-watch and city-watch the skyline.
- The air right now is SO crisp, comparable to a cold glass of water. I love it.
My advice is simple: enjoy the small intricacies hidden across campus.
Does it sound at all like a waste of time? I say, not at all! Personally, it helps me to stay humble. Noticing and appreciating my immediate environment reminds me of how small I am. While what I am trying to learn and accomplish with my future is important, I am not more important than anyone or anything else. I need to constantly be reminded that I am only one person in a city of 3 million. In a world of 7 billion. I as an individual am relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, meaning I need to be connected to the world around me if I am ever going to make any impact at all.
Take time to remember where you are. Ultimately, having a grasp of this will enable you to get wherever you are going.
Abigail Floresca is a junior majoring in criminology, law and justice with a minor in professional writing. Writing is how she connects, processes, expresses and relates to the rest of the world. Increasingly aware of the power of storytelling in bringing about change and reform, Abigail earnestly seeks to find a way to incorporate a perfect blend of writing and social work within the criminal justice system — she dreams of bringing about a positive change, one story at a time. At UIC, she is involved in campus ministry; conducts research with the criminology, law and justice department; interns with the Chicago Justice Project, and loves exploring new places downtown.