By Alana Doctoroff


Before coming to BU, I thought the biggest adjustment I’d have to make would be about the small town to big city lifestyles. And while I did go from living in a one square-mile Michigan suburb to a major city like Boston, it wasn’t the size that gave me the most difficulty.


From the time I was born, the Midwest has been my home. I have never lived anywhere else. I had never even considered the idea that the East Coast would be any different. But from the moment I arrived in Boston, I not only witnessed, but I experienced first-hand a noticeable cultural difference between the Midwest and the East Coast.


The first difference that I noticed was the people. Let me start out by saying, I’m not implying that the people that grew up on the East Coast are not nice. In fact, many people who I have met here that grew up in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and so forth, are extremely kind. But they are not as warm and fuzzy as people back home.


I think it may feel this way because people from the East seem to be much more independent. East Coasters seem to not rely so heavily on a community for support. In Michigan, my teachers, friends, family and neighborhood were my backbone and played a major role in all my success. In a sense, the type of independence that I have witnessed here is admirable and I think that by choosing a college in a place so different from home, I will learn and grow in a more drastic manner than if I had stayed in the Midwest.


The next change is how fast-paced it is here. People are always on the move, something that it really hard to keep up with. The only “big” city that I am somewhat familiar with is Detroit. Although Detroit is rapidly growing in population, the people do not have the same hustle as they do here. If I were to walk at the pace I do at home, in Boston, I would get trampled instantly. Even though it is terrifying at times, the fast pace and drive that people seem to have is something I am going to have to get used to if I want to be successful here.


As much as I wish that the people here would adapt to my way of life, I fully recognize that that is not the way the world works. Not only do I have to get used to the differences, but I think it would be most beneficial if I learned and grew from them as well. Not everyone is going to be the same as the people from Huntington Woods, Michigan, but this is OK because it will challenge me in ways that my home did not, which hopefully will allow me to prosper later on in life.