August 14, 2020

Stuck in Rhode Island

posted on: Thursday February 25, 2010

Nicole Amaral ’10 / Portfolio Editor

I love my home, and home for me has always been Rhode Island, despite the fact that I never actually lived in the state until my time at college. I grew up in Seekonk, MA, but I have always considered myself a Rhode Islander for various reasons. All of my extended family members lives in Rhode Island and have lived there all their lives. I was born in a hospital in Providence, and all of my doctors and dentists are in Rhode Island, as well as most of the jobs I have had. I know Aunt Carrie’s is the best place for clam cakes in Narragansett, and I look forward to passing the Big Blue Bug on the highway wearing a red Rudolph nose during the Christmas season. My first roller coaster ride was at Rocky Point and I learned the hard way that if you ask for coffee milk outside of the Ocean State, the waitress will not know what you mean Unlike many of my friends upon graduating high school, I did not really want to go college far from home. When I made the decision to attend college in Providence, all of my friends were baffled. Why did I want to be stuck in Rhode Island? Didn’t I want to go to school in a bigger, more exciting city, like Boston or New York? Didn’t I want to get away from my parents? Didn’t I want to experience a new place?I felt as though I should want those things and used my scholarship as an excuse for wanting to go to Providence.As I progressed through my years at PC, I realized that I am a homebody and I am not ashamed of it. I love travelling and have visited many amazing, and indeed more exciting, places, but I was never been overcome by any desire to stay there permanently. I know that sounds lame, but, as Dorothy so famously puts it, “There’s no place like home.”My family has not exactly set much of a precedent for leaving Rhode Island over the years. All four of my grandparents grew up around Providence and stayed in Rhode Island after they were married. My mother grew up in Cranston and my father grew up East Providence. They both commuted to Providence College, which is where they met. I would not say my decision to also attend Providence College was inevitable, but I felt a certain sense of belonging when I envisioned myself at PC, something I did not feel when I pictured myself at other schools.After looking at my family, it certainly seems as though at least one Rhode Island stereotype is true: Growing up in (or, in my case, around) the smallest state gives you a rather skewed sense of “far away.” Perhaps that’s why I have never been bothered by the fact that I attend college so close to home—the twenty minutes it takes to get back to Seekonk is, in the mind of a Rhode Islander, a fair distance. My parents’ decision to reside in Seekonk still rankles my relatives in Warwick, who gripe about going all the way down to Seekonk any time we have a family party. While visiting a great aunt I had not seen in a while, she blamed the fact that we never see each

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