My entire life, I have grown up in rural areas in Minnesota, and now I’m living in a very urban city in Louisiana. Life is very different here than in Minnesota. There are a lot of things I deal with on a daily basis that I never had to worry about before like way more traffic, racial issues, homelessness, gun violence, and higher crime rates to name a few. Not to say Minnesota doesn’t have these problems too, but I was never affected by these issues on a daily basis when I lived there. Most of these issues gave me fear when I first arrived in New Orleans, but as I have settled in, my fear has changed to awareness instead. I have also learned to get more comfortable with some of these issues, too. I have learned to drive in a city filled with mostly one-way streets, no left turns, and stop-and-go traffic. All of this has taught me how to be patient and assertive when it comes to driving. I have also learned how to use the alarm system in my house here. I had never lived in a house that has had one before, so I really struggled in learning how to use it. I am thankful for my understanding housemates who lived through the many times I accidentally set it off. It was hard for me to understand the need for an alarm system at first, because for a lot of my life in Minnesota, we didn’t even lock the doors to our house.
Now that I have lived here for five months, I realize I’m changing to a “City Girl.” Not that I ever really considered myself a “country” girl, but none of the cities l lived in could be considered “urban.” I started to notice this change when I would leave NOLA and go to rural areas in Louisiana. The people there would say things like “Inner City” or even “The City.” They would even put a negative connotation with these words. It really bothered me when I heard this, because that was my new home, and where all my new friends were. I also have learned that there is so much beauty in a city from murals to the colorful houses you see on the streets. I really do miss the lakes and the woods of Minnesota, but I’m falling in love with the vibrant culture of New Orleans.