My Love/Hate Relationship with SoCal

Stephanie, Second Year Medical StudentWith the holidays quickly approaching I have been thinking a lot about my friends and family back home in Illinois (for those of you who haven’t read my background info, I am originally from Illinois and have moved out to California for medical school).  I keep seeing posts about the cold weather, autumn leaves, football games, and the first snow all over the place and while a couple of these were never truly my favorite things (especially the cold weather part)…..it has still made me think about and miss some of the joys of life in the Midwest.

So, I thought I might share some of my favorite and least favorite things about life in Southern California for those who are reading from some other part of the country (and possibly considering relocating out here for medical school).

We’ll start with the good:

  1. Pleasantly warm weather and sunshine (almost) year round!  I LOVE that the weather is so great and you can almost count on a good day when making plans.
  2. Plenty to do – if you’re bored in Southern California, there’s something wrong with you.  It’s a great place to be on those rare occasions when we get some free time in our busy schedules and it’s great to have people come visit!
  3. Great food (and a WIDE variety of choices).  There are so many people in SoCal with such diverse backgrounds that you can find just about anything you could possibly desire.

And now for the things I don’t like so much:

  1. There are SO MANY people!  Coming from a rural area in Illinois, sometimes I just want to drive down the street and see someone I know – and that NEVER happens here……
  2. Traffic is abysmal!  I lived in near Chicago and thought traffic was bad……NOTHING compared to SoCal!  Add that to the fact that many Californian drivers don’t seem to actually follow the “rules of the road” that my State Police Officer father taught me so well and you can understand my frustration…..
  3. Everything is expensive – ESPECIALLY housing!  I guess when there are so many people and no one wants to drive anywhere this is only to be expected.

There ya have it….my quick summary of the good and the bad of SoCal living.  I’ll close with some pictures from back when I lived in IL – one of beautiful fall leaves (something that just doesn’t happen the same here – very few trees turn pretty colors) and one of Christmas time in Chicago with a perfectly timed snow fall.

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About Stephanie McDearmon

I am currently a fourth year medical student looking forward to entering residency in Family Medicine next year. I grew up in a small town in northwestern Illinois (Morrison) and have relocated to Southern California with my husband for the four years of medical school but plan to move back to the Midwest soon (aka for residency)! Some of the hobbies that I enjoy the most are spending time with my husband and our pets (a dog, Addison, and a cat, Blaze), dancing, running, and cooking.