A lot of recent grads dream of heading to a big city after college. There are more jobs, more things to do and more chaos :). That was my goal too. After my time in Spain was up, I also got caught up in the romantic idea of being part of the 20-something hub that flocked to a big city.
Most people I knew were dead set on Chicago or New York, but I was always drawn back to Indy. I didn’t know if my fantasy of city life and reality would match, but so far I have loved being right in the center of everything. After four months of being a “city girl,” here’s some of my favorite-and not so favorite-parts of living in downtown Indy:
Falling asleep to sirens-
This is one of those little things that reminds me that I’m in a place that never sleeps. After living in a quiet neighborhood and on campus my whole life, never hearing silence was new. The sirens have almost become my own noise machine at night.
It’s no big deal-
Once you’ve settled in, your home is your home-no matter if it’s in the center of the city or out in the suburbs. You naturally adjust to the little things (like more noise), but it’s not as overwhelming as some people make it out to be.
You’re close to everything-
This was obviously the #1 reason for living in the heart of downtown. Work-10 minute drive. Gym-10 minute drive. Bars-10 minute drive. Grocery store-5 minute drive. Since everything is in such a close radius, we’ve saved a lot of time and money getting places. Without a huge commute, it’s easier for us to do activities after work and our uber rides are ridiculously cheap.
The canal has everything: museums, cafes and bike paths that stretch all the way to the center of the city.
Obviously, living downtown means you have to be on your A-game. That’s why we picked an apartment near the med schools-because we knew most of the residents were students. We also got a place that was gated, which makes us more at ease coming and going from our apartment late at night. It's just about being smarter and making different decisions so you don't end up in sketchy areas alone. For example, I feel safer getting gas outside the city.
It’s a royal bitch. For someone who is a nervous wreck parallel parking, it’s pretty much a nightmare. I will do just about anything to get out of parking downtown, except for on the weekdays after 9 p.m. and on the weekends-when it’s FREE. Maybe it’s me, but parking spaces also feel so much smaller and cramped, plus the streets around Mass Ave are difficult to navigate with all of the one-ways. Honestly my advice is to just take an Uber (or a scooter!) and forget the hassle.
Living in a big city has lined up spot-on with what I’m looking for in my 20s: new people, a crazy pace and always something exciting going on. It’s kept me on my toes and also taught me to adjust to city life in a way I wasn’t expecting. I definitely think it’s a lifestyle everyone should try once just to see what the hype is about...and maybe you’ll surprise yourself. Happy to call myself an Indy City Girl.