Fordham is filled with people from all over the United States and the world. Yet, it is often difficult for the majority of the students to process peers coming from the Midwest. It seems that if a student is not international or from the Tri-State area, then they are from California, Florida or somewhere else in the east.
Well, what about the rest of us from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana? Not all of us live on farms.
Even though I am from Wisconsin, I am actually from Milwaukee, which is the largest city in the state. With over 2 million residents in the greater Milwaukee area, the city is not as small as people think. I also live 10 minutes from the heart of downtown and five minutes from Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. My neighbor’s driveway is less than five feet from the side of my house. It takes me about 45 minutes to get anywhere remotely near a small farm.
The East Coast is actually very similar to the Midwest. Admittedly, there is a lot of flat land in the Midwest, which is why it is prime land for farming.
But it is home to so much more. We have a lot of rolling hills and forests as well, shaking up the ground to be more than just flat rows of corn. The Mississippi River slices down the middle of the Midwest, filling the surrounding area with cliffs and ridges in the hills.
One day, my friends and I decided to drive to Westchester to get out of New York City and just look at the homes and shops. I was reminded of Wisconsin with some of the tudor style homes and bakeries. Even walking around Princeton, New Jersey, the ice cream shops and parks brought me back to the suburbs of Milwaukee that are filled with fun coffee shops and trendy boutiques.
Do not get me wrong — I love the East Coast and I love the Midwest. I came all the way from Milwaukee to New York City for a reason: to experience a new location and be in one of the greatest cities in the world.
I love both places so much, because they are so different, but also because they have some things in common. Every day, little pieces of New York remind me of home. Especially because I do not live on a farm.
Now, there are more stereotypes about Wisconsinites that are true. After all, stereotypes are created for a reason, but that is what makes places unique. So I guess even though I do not live on a farm, I am still very much a true Wisconsinite.
I am obsessed with cheese. Wisconsin is known for its cheeses and they truly are the best. Cheese curds are delicious. The squeakier the better.
Beer is another huge part of the typical Wisconsin lifestyle. Milwaukee is the birthplace of some of the largest breweries — Miller, Pabst, Schlitz and Blatz.
There are also the craft beers like Sprecher, Milwaukee Ale House and New Glarus that make brewing in Milwaukee even more special.
And of Course, the Pack. The first and second ever Superbowl Champions. The Lambeau Leap. Cheese-heads. And do not not forget Aaron Rodgers. Yes, I own a cheese-head.
Wisconsin is an amazing place, with striking differences and a thriving culture. Every state has its own quirks. That is what makes the United States so diverse.
There are stereotypes from the Arizona desert to the charm of Cape Cod, but there are also great things to be discovered about every different state.
I am discovering more and more of New York everyday. You just have to open your eyes and look. And for the last time, I do not live on a farm.