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Handling Suburbia

Hey there,

I’m from San Francisco. I don’t even need to specify which state—everyone knows where my beautiful city is. Often, I get asked how I ended up in Westminster, Maryland in the middle of suburbia. Often I ask myself such. I absolutely adore big cities, and I absolutely adore the middle of nowhere, having spent the past summer in Yellowstone. But suburbia? It’s not really my cup of tea, and I know I definitely won’t be here when I grow up. But for college, I definitely haven’t regretted my decision.

Westminster isn’t exactly a college town—I’d call it a commuter town, since a lot of people who live here commute to Baltimore. The college is the biggest part of the city though, and because it’s small, you usually know exactly what’s going on everywhere. I really like this. It means if I’m bored on a Saturday night, I can text my friends and, unless they’ve gone to Baltimore or DC for the day, they’re going to nearby, whereas if I was in a big city, they could be anywhere.

I don’t have my driver’s license yet. I was astonished to realize that most places don’t have public transit, and surprised to find I could ever miss San Francisco’s muni buses. But the thing about Westminster is that everything you need is in walking distance. The Pickle takes us to Wal-Mart and to the local mall on the weekends, but even Wal-Mart is in walking distance of campus. Only a handful of freshman have cars on campus, and they don’t need them often—the most common use for cars is for going to midnight releases of movies.

My favourite place to walk to is Baugher’s. It’s a family-owned restaurant and market-type place just under ten minutes off campus. In the fall, they sell fresh fruit and vegetables at amazing prices. I got about ten peaches and ten nectarines for $5!

Westminster is also incredibly pretty to walk through at night. I get antsy if I sit still for too long, so I like to drag my friend out and walk down Main Street. It still surprises me how typically small town it is, but I’ve grown super affectionate towards it. The town was especially beautiful just before the holidays, when Christmas trees were up and decorated with pretty lights. Then it snowed, and the world was even more beautiful and I was freaking out every five minutes about how perfectly picturesque and small town it was.

I’m not going to spend my whole life in Westminster. But I’m definitely glad that I get to live in suburbia for college.

Ema

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