A City Lover or a City Loather

By: Nathan Hritz

There are two types of people in this world: those who love cities, and those who do not. I happen to be the latter of the two. Let me explain.

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt this push to live in a city coming from several forces — from my family insinuating a direction for me to go in, from teachers in high school and even from professors in college. Ultimately, the most influential factor has undoubtedly been my major. Being on my third major now, I would like to think that I have learned a thing or two at this point.

Two years ago, when I started attending a small college outside of the Philadelphia city limit, I was majoring in accounting. Through that endeavor, I knew that I did not intend to be an accountant for the remainder of my life (more power to those who chose that career path). There was no problem with accounting. It is a solid field that would have enabled me to do almost whatever I wanted.

My problem arose when I finally thought I knew what I wanted to do: I wanted to be a musician. That sparked an internal conflict. I have always had a close connection to nature, having practically been raised in the woods of Pennsylvania. Music would have certainly bound me to a major city, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York or Nashville.

When I transferred to YSU in the fall of what should have been my sophomore year with a major in jazz studies, the fear that I would be constricted to one environment, big cities, had become more tangible than it had ever been for me.

My irrational fear of big cities was the catalyst of a three-month spiral into confusion about what I would do. I settled with majoring in journalism because I can be a journalist wherever I please. So far, I am confident with that decision.

There is something romantic about the serenity and isolation of wide open spaces, specifically in that of small, rural towns. I was raised in Union, Penn, which could be regarded as the suburb of New Castle. At that time my family had owned roughly one acre of property where my sister and I could frolic and set our imaginations free.

When we moved to the city where I live now, I felt as though a part of my once immensely vivid imagination had been stifled. I hated it. Top that with my affinity for alone time and it should be plain to see that cities and I do not mix. Especially big cities. We mix as well as oil mixes with water.

The age_old saying “to each his own” applies well to the entirety of this column. The beauty of this country is that we, as citizens, have the right to set up home base wherever we please to, whether it is in the mountains of Alaska, the plains of Nebraska or the concrete jungle of the city of your choosing. Find your niche and rock with it until the day you die, as a city lover or a city loather.