NorCal vs. SoCal

By Ashlee Bischoff, Social Media Director

When I moved to Chico from San Diego in August 2008 I thought everyone would be jealous. When people asked me where I was from, I wasn’t expecting all the negative reactions. Doesn’t everyone want to live in Southern California? Oh boy, was I wrong.

It’s four years later, and I’m about to graduate from college and have a big dilemma: I fell in love with Northern California. My plan was always to move back to Southern California, but now I can’t see myself leaving here. I have to make a decision by the end of the year, and I’ve started compiling a list of pros and cons of living in Northern California.

You all are awful drivers. Seriously, how do you make it from point A to point B alive and in a timely manner? Don’t hesitate to turn right on red, use your blinker while merging or drive the speed limit. Traffic laws are not suggestions. Also, it’s called the 5 Freeway.

“Hella” is not a real word. It does not substitute a measurement. I don’t understand what you mean when you tell me hella people were there, or you were hella upset.

The weather is as unpredictable as my ex-boyfriend. I’m an advocate for seasons, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t keep up with the weather changes. I’m unpacking my rain boots one day and the next I’m wearing flip-flops. I’m not sure whether to blame global warming or years of being spoiled with perfect 70-degree weather.

Apparently other greenery exists in California besides palm trees and ice plants. Go figure. There is so much more beautiful nature and open land to take advantage of. I’m not surrounded by buildings and freeways. I can take a deep breath and smell fresh air, not smog.

Everyone says “hi” with a smile. If you acknowledge a stranger on the streets in Southern California you are either one – a creep, or two – crazy. I can’t tell if it’s because people find more parking or have to deal with less rush-hour traffic, but I tend to be greeted more with a smile.

There’s more to life than owning the latest and greatest. I never thought I would get sick of shopping, but it’s kind of refreshing not having to stretch my paychecks. Obviously life is costly, but it’s definitely less expensive up here. Maybe there’s just less options, though.

Despite whatever petty list I can construct, the choice is clear. I haven’t finished my journey up here quite yet. So now begins the countless hours of research. Where should I live? What career path should I take? I’ve taken interest in firms such as Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard. At this point I’ve come to realize that I just need to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities in life.  

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