People often ask me why I, a Californian, wanted to go to school so far away from home or specifically, "Why Jersey?" with the most condescending, bewildered tone. Please keep in mind that the person asking the question, 95 percent of the time, was a native of New Jersey.
I have always had a serious case of wanderlust, so naturally I would choose to go to school across the country. I also try to see the best in the places I travel to, hence the annoyance when people cannot see the greatness that is right in front of them. New Jersey is beautiful.
New Jersey may not be the most outstanding, but have you seen the trees here? For someone who gets two and a half seasons, winter, autumn and an Indian summer that lasts two weeks, of course I am going to go insane with the leaf stomping. But if I were someone who sees the first leaf fall every September, I would still go crazy for the changing seasons. It is just a beautiful thing.
My friends back home are always calling New Jersey the "butt of New York" and stereotype it as the state full of self-obsessed "tanorexics." For a short time I agreed with them, but my time here has definitely allowed me to see the Garden State as more than just that.
New Jersey is full of quaint, little towns with so much to do. Even if your town may be a drab collection of houses where the only place busting with excitement is the local IHOP, you can venture into the neighboring towns and claim them as your backyard.
It also blows my mind when people say they do not want to stray too far from home. To truly appreciate home, you have to go away for a while and obtain that outside perspective. As those ever-popular pictures of meadows and sunsets on Tumblr say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
No one should spend his or her life hating home or not taking advantage of what this world has to offer. Although circumstances can be shackling, find ways to weasel out of the dreary mundane and remember it is not impossible.
While I respect the fact that someone may not have the necessary ammunition to explore the world, I cannot give any credit to those who say they are too afraid to step out of their comfort zone. I do not believe it is an adequate excuse for one to stay in the same place forever. You do not have to travel far to discover someplace new; go to the next town over, or a few towns over if you are feeling adventurous.
Routine is a pleasure that life presents us, but breaking out of routine is one of life's ways of telling us that there is more than what we are doing right now.
Tiffany Do is a sophomore journalism major from San Franciso, CA. She can be reached at Tiffany.email@example.com.