Sometimes, when I’m driving on the freeway into Columbus, coming home, or walking the few blocks down Cleveland or Grant to the library, I imagine that I am in Montreal, or London, or Paris. Even New York, so long as it’s not Columbus, not Ohio, not the midwest. I can almost fool myself for about three seconds.

I’ve lived in a small Ohio town my whole life. Going to the city for school was one of the best decisions I ever made, but this town is so industrial, dirty. The people have been mostly rude. I can’t walk through the park without looking over my shoulder. Every person around every bend is a potential serial killer or purse snatcher. I don’t have dozens of keychains on my carabeaner because they’re cute, I have dozens of keychairs because if I put my fingers through the carabeaner, I can swing it around like a short metal flail and inflict quite a bit of damage to an attackers face.

The other day I went for a walk through a local park. It’s less than three blocks away. As I went through my route, no less than three times did I think someone would kill me.

Supposingly, Columbus has a fairly low crime rate. We’re supposed to be a pretty safe city. But I felt so much safer in Montreal. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know the layout. But as long as I was standing by the front door before the sun set, I felt safe. Up there, you see families on the streets and in the parks. Here, everyone but the homeless people and a few stray joggers stay indoors. People will nodd and smile to you on the street in Montreal, and here, you look straight ahead. Do not make eye contact, ever.

This city is stagnent. I want out, and I hope to God/dess that I get accepted to the Study Abroad program so I can get the hell out. I don’t think I can take another semester in this city.