It’s that time of year in the Northeast when the sun sets at 4PM, the holiday craze sets in, and the weather gets more moody than me when I don’t have my morning cup of coffee. As the days become shorter and the nights become longer, I find myself experiencing sunlight mainly through the windows at school and continuously overestimating my cold weather attire.
While there are some negatives of this “pre-season” Winter, there are also many positives. First of all, (I do feel the need to mention this) the first baseball season I move to Boston, I experienced the Red Sox winning the World Series. On the day of the parade, I saw Red Sox fans waiting in bone-chilling weather hours before it started, and I knew that was the type of dedication I needed to get through grad school. You could feel the Boston pride that day, and it definitely rubbed off on me.
I’ve also come to experience what it’s like to really live in the city. Coming from a suburb where your easiest mode of transportation is your car, it took a little bit of an adjustment to walk or take the T to anywhere I needed to go. I had to plan ahead, know my stops on the T, and be okay with not having any sense of direction when I was somewhere new. Despite that, I’m walking at a better pace, I enjoy walking more than I ever had, and I can take advantage of that time by catching up on my audiobooks or even getting in a nice call with my family.
The neighborhood I live in also is a great place to be. I chose to live in Fenway where there is a park that is my dog’s new backyard and four different supermarkets that are within 10 minutes of walking. Also, if I wanted to listen to what’s going on at Fenway Park, I could just open my window. If you ever plan on moving to the area, discover what neighborhood suits your needs, layer up, and get some good walking shoes The last two may not sound so great, but I grew to love it and so can you. It feels a bit weird to drive now, since I rarely every do, but I honestly prefer walking. It provides a new perspective to sight-seeing.
Right now, the Commonwealth Park near NECO created a Holiday Lights Trail and Newbury Street has most of their light fixtures and stores decorated. I never knew a city could be so dedicated to being festive. It warms my heart to see such beautiful displays of the holiday season everywhere I go. I went to my first Boston tree lighting at the Boston Commons Thursday night, and it was such a huge event. There were so many people in attendance, food trucks and news stations all around, and a main stage with a concert happening. At first, I thought it was poor placement of the stage to be directly in front of the tree, but I didn’t realize there were going to be fireworks right after it was lit! I didn’t know it was even possible because we’re in a city, but I was proven wrong that night, and it was awesome. Then, right after that, all the carolers and the crowd started singing Christmas jingles, and I was blown away by how much everyone loved being involved and how festive they were.
My first semester (I can’t believe this is happening) is almost over, and I never truly reflected on how much I’ve come to enjoy this city more than I ever expected to. Boston has continuously surprised me whether it be the culture, the people, or the city views. There are so many things to do year round, and it eases my mind to know that there are always going to be events or places to explore when I need a break from studying. As I reach the end of my first semester here at NECO, I’m excited to see what else Boston has in store for me in the next few years.