When in Chicago…

By Lauren Grimaldi

This is the moment many wait for. Parents have left after helping students move in and student are now on their own in a new, big city. Such an idea should excite most people, but many can also feel scared at the prospect of becoming accustomed to a city like Chicago. It can be overwhelming to come here if you’re used to suburban or rural life, the city offers countless options that just don’t exist in the less populated areas.

While it’s very important students take advantage of all the city has to offer, it’s also imperative to do so when you have time and don’t let school work suffer as a result of one’s desire to explore Chicago. Luckily, the city offers many options for those that wants to go out, but bars and nightclubs are not your scene. Looking for something relaxing to do? Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion offers several free concerts to Chicagoans as well as movie nights in the park.

Students should experience the great museums Chicago has to offer, as they are some of the best in the world and offer free admission on certain days. The Art Institute of Chicago was recently named the #1 museum in the world by TripAdvisor and one can easily walk there from the downtown campus.

Chicago has much more to offer than concerts in the park and great museums, it’s also home to one of the most historic ballparks in America, Wrigley Field. Head to the North Side and see a game and take in the ambiance of Wrigley that has only become more exciting as the Cubs continue to push towards the playoffs. The city’s other baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, also offer tickets fairly cheap for college students and a night out at The Cell is sure to be a good time.

Now that there’s options for fun outside of class, it is important for to keep basic safety tips in mind as students never know the intentions of those walking around you on the street or riding along with you on the CTA. It may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s smart to keep electronic devices (phones, iPods, etc.) away while riding the trains or walking on the street.

Students from small towns may be used to walking around and feeling there’s no chance for them to be robbed on the street, and while there’s no reason to feel afraid all the time here in Chicago, it is best to take preventative measures to decrease the likelihood of something bad happening.

As soon as you’re able to feel more comfortable here, you’ll start to consider Chicago home. Taking advantage of all there is to do in and around the city, will have you never wanting to live anywhere else before you know it.

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