“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
-Arnold Bennett

Tree Photo courtesy of ksvignette, sxc.hu

After graduating from college, moving three hours from home and starting a new job within a one-week time period, I quickly realized my life was spiraling into a transitioning state.

As a self-proclaimed realist, I  prepared for the “big” changes as best as I could.  I knew it would take time to adjust to a new internship in a new town.  I knew I’d have to get used to living alone after having two awesome roommates to laugh, vent and cry with.  I knew it would take sweat and tears to rebuild my professional network while adjusting to the “real world.”

The change I didn’t prepare for?

The transition from country bumpkin to young city professional.

I know it sounds cheesy and clique, but it’s true: I’ve made quite a few “interesting” discoveries as I adjusted from my township upbringing (my hometown’s population is less than 2,500) to city living (Columbus’ population is approximately 747,000!)

In honor of living in Columbus for a little more than one month, I thought I’d share a list of several “big town” discoveries I made.   I’m sure you city dwellers will get a good laugh!

Discovery One: Parallel parking is normal.  All the cool people do it.

I survived the first five years of my “driving” life without parallel parking.  Therefore, please imagine my surprise when I realized my apartment complex has street-only parking.

I am happy to announce that my parallel parking attempts have been quite successful.  And by successful, I am referring to the fact that I didn’t hit any cars.  I’m not referring to how long it takes me to straighten out my vehicle.

Discovery Two: Street sweeping isn’t just in movies.

I thought street sweepers only made grand appearances in movies; however, I recently discovered this street-sweeping phenomenon actually exists.  I’ve always joked that I’d love to be a truck driver in my spare time, but now I’m pursuing an on-the-side career in street sweeping.  Or Zamboni driving, if time and opportunity permit.

Discovery Three: Bicyclists are more obnoxious than most drivers.

When I was in college, my biggest driving fear was accidentally hitting a jay-walking, drunken student at night.

My biggest driving fear in the city?


Disclaimer: I know many law-abiding, cautious bicyclists who take their spin sessions seriously.  Unfortunately, I’ve encountered many bicyclists who think it’s appropriate to ride on the wrong side of the road, swerve through traffic, ignore red lights/stop signs, etc.

Discovery Four: If you’re indecisive, the food choices are overwhelming.

If you live in a small town, your food choices are very limited: and you usually have to drive at least 15 minutes to get to the nearest fast-food joint.

As a slightly indecisive individual who honestly loves all kinds of food, it’s completely overwhelming to live so close to so many delicious options.  I’m within walking distance from any kind of food imaginable: including cupcakes.  It’s going to take more than a year (and a larger food budget) to visit all of the Short North’s swanky restaurants.

To those of you who moved from the country to the city: What kinds of quirky “city” secrets did you discover?