I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life, always hearing traffic through the streets, smelling the exhaust from the many cars passing by, seeing the tall skyscrapers and lights across the city, and taking the train wherever I needed to go. It was a big transition moving to the small town of Lisle. Living on a suburban campus, I have grown accustomed to the silent area, the lack of street lights, restaurants that aren’t open 24/7, and relying on a car to take me wherever I needed to go.
Although I miss my beautiful city of Chicago, I realize I get the best of both worlds. Every weekend, I get on the Metra train at the Lisle stop (only 2.8 miles from Benedictine University according to Google Maps) and get off the train at Union Station in downtown Chicago for work. While still being a full-time student in the suburbs during the week, I work in retail as a sales associate in the fast-paced world of Chicago every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
During my week at school, I balance my classes, homework, an on-campus job, joining and going to club meetings, and socializing with new friends I’ve made during my first year at Benedictine University so far. The plus of living at Benedictine as a suburban campus is there is always somewhere quiet to go whether you need to study, clear your head, or get away from any headache-causing issues. Breathing the fresh air, free of exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, is peaceful when you need to take a walk as your legs become so stiff from the constant studying hours in the library (you WILL study a lot, but that WON’T stop you from enjoying your college experience).
However, the small town of Lisle doesn’t mean Benedictine University lacks fun! On campus there’s plenty of events to go to like sports games, taffy apple night in the cafeteria, movie nights, club events, grabbing some food with your friends, or inviting friends over to chill in your dorm (if you commute, you will have access to all of this as well even if you’re not living in a dorm). And don’t just limit yourself to the things to do on campus because there’s plenty of off campus activites to do! Downtown Naperville is less than 20 minutes away and downtown Chicago is an hour Metra train ride away. Both areas have amazing sights and great food. In the winter, a mile away (10 minute walk or 2 minute drive), the Four Lakes Ski Area is open to the public. So why not take a few friends and rent some skis and make your own fun?!
My motto is “Life is what you make it” and college follows by that rule too! Though I miss being in my big city all the time, I was open to creating new experiences living at Benedictine and I already have made great friends and have had a lot of fun! Even as a freshman, there are endless possibilities to make your college experience worth it.
Thanks for reading and, if you have any questions about my experiences at Benedictine or would like to get some more information, just leave a comment!