One of my favorite parts about living in Philadelphia is not what one might initially expect. Sure, there are a ton of amazing art museums, incredible restaurants, and some of the most important historical landmarks that our country has to offer. Philly has a rich and diverse culture that I was certainly drawn to when applying to veterinary schools. However, my favorite part about Philadelphia is perhaps why many people might not like living here. What I love most about Philly is its proximity to New Jersey.
I have been a New Jersey native all my life and have only positive things to say about the state. My parents still live there, I attended school from pre-K all the way through college in the Garden State, and have shown horses in pretty much every corner of the most densely populated state. (If you can’t remember what New Jersey looks like on a map, it has a LOT of corners.)
Living in Philadelphia has been ideal for me in so many ways. A large majority of my friends from undergrad and high school still live in or around Philadelphia/New York City, so visiting them has always been extremely simple. During my first year, I used the train a lot to visit friends. I also tried to join car rides that my vet school friends were making to visit their families and friends in New Jersey, New York, or even Vermont, so they could drop me off somewhere along the way.
Once I acquired a car, during my second year I was able to experience the joys of summer Friday afternoon traffic heading toward the shore to visit my parents. Freehold is not by any means a “shore town,” but it certainly gets its fair share of shore traffic in the summers. Driving home to visit my parents at times took double the length of time it should have taken without traffic, simply because of the number of people headed to beach houses for the weekend.
Still, I love being able to come home to my family so often. It is one of the many reasons that I was so interested in applying to Penn in the first place. I realize that many students are not afforded this luxury, so I am very grateful to always have a strong support system within less than a two-hour driving distance from me if I ever need it.