Life in the South Side of Chicago

Chicago Skyline
photo by:  Rohan Gangopadhyay

I was born and raised in the great windy city on the south side. Living there I got to experience life differently then my college friends. I had a huge backyard that allowed my sister and I to play outside with a large garden to plant and harvest tomatoes and cucumbers.

Living in the south side had its benefits. I was far enough from the city that we didn’t get the traffic to the sports games or big events. My elementary school was in a safe walking distance from my house as long with a big park. Their is a grocery store and dollar tree near by to get snacks during the hot summer. My best friend of seven years lives a block away. I can take the bus and trains to the city and to close suburbs.

Some of the negatives of living in Chicago follow suit with its high crime rate, tourists, and traffic. All three can be a burden on someones mental life. However, behind of what the media paints Chicago to be its a great city for students to learn about different cultures and understand different lives.

Going to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School I got to experience different cultures and backgrounds of each of my peers. Everyone lived and grew up differently which was different than my elementary school. Having that opportunity can only be truly offered through a city like Chicago.

My Neighborhood.

Living in a neighborhood that is majority white, city employees, and all having the same view point on life made it hard to grow. In my neighborhood everybody knew everyone. Either from their kids being in the same programs, neighbors, or through a facebook group. Which allowed very little misbehavior. Having the ceiling be low to the ground made it hard for me to understand and accept who I am.

Wanting to express yourself had to follow the neighborhoods idea of what expressing yourself is like. For example when I wore platform crocs to express my love for them and to have fun I got teased for it by my friends and family. It was because it was weird and unseen before. Having that level of fun to express myself is and was considered weird.

My neighborhood also provided some pros. For example, every Halloween there was a house that gave out lots of bags full of candy. It will fill up your pillow case. The district also held a safe trick of treat spot down a busy street with businesses giving out Halloween goodies. The bank gave out full size candy bars, the comic bookstore gave out 50cent comics, and the firehouse gave out cool stickers.

When a parent or a child dies unexpectedly. Either from cancer, job accident, or life accident. The community comes together and bond and supply what ever the family needs to help them heal and grow from their troubling time. Their is usually fundraisers, party’s, and facebook pages dedicated to helping make the families lives a bit better.


My neighborhood can be awful at times. However, when the community needs to come together it does in a way that is truly powerful.

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