Things non-Chicagoan/non-UIC students don’t understand

Photo: Joseph Horejs

We’re prepared to go to class in the snow! Photo: Joseph Horejs


The snowstorm that hit us earlier this week got me thinking about how strong we really are as Chicagoans. A lot of people in this world couldn’t handle the kinds of things we do. Granted, there are plenty of people out there who have it “worse.” But think about it, there really are a lot of things that non-Chicagoans/non-UIC students don’t understand.

  • Snow! It isn’t easy living somewhere where we can be hit with a snowstorm pretty much nine months out of the year, if the weather feels like it. Being prepared for the worst isn’t easy, and shoveling yourself out of the house is a true Chicagoan art. Let’s not forget about the fact that most of us walk around campus during snow storms as if nothing is going on. After all, we’re pretty used to it by now.
  • Wind. Most of our weather conditions, really. But I dare someone from another state to walk past UH … they would probably tip over. We’ve perfected the art of walking in the Windy City, and doing so with seemingly effortlessly. Don’t forget about driving, either. Feel that car move?
  • Traffic. I’ve been in some sticky traffic situations around the U.S., but nothing compares to good ol’ Chicago. It doesn’t matter what time of day, the roads, especially highways, are unbelievably congested. You’d think that maybe we could use more lanes-except the street probably already has 4 of them. There’s just a lot of people trying to get somewhere, and we all know there are a lot of places to get to around here. Good luck to any out-of-towner trying to get around. Bet they wouldn’t have the patience, anyway.
  • Construction. Our fourth season of the year — and it’s practically year-round, anyway. Something is always going on, and usually all hours of the day, too. East side campus housing students can certainly attest to the overnight (and all day) construction on Harrison and Halsted. I doubt other people could handle all of the construction we have around here.
  • Not having classes cancelled. Seeing my Facebook friends from schools in the boonies saying that school is cancelled never comes to me as a surprise anymore. As a major research and hospital-based university, we are always in business, and while it may bother a lot of students, it’s nice to know that we as UIC can handle anything that comes our way. I don’t think kids at other universities understand what it’s like trudging to class in inches on inches of snow.
  • What good food is. Sure, every city has something somewhat unique to them. But they don’t have all of the delicious delicacies we Chicagoans have. Whether it’s Portillo’s or pizza, we’ve got it covered, and there is always something delicious to eat. Sorry everybody else …
  • The UIC Flames. Nobody ever understands why we are called the Flames. But that’s okay — it’s like our own little secret. Bad on them for not knowing Chicago’s history. Besides, we’re unique.
  • Extreme baseball rivalry. Yes, there are plenty of other states with multiple baseball teams. But nothing will ever truly compare to the rivalry between the White Sox and Cubs fans in this city. Things are heating up again as we move closer to the new season, with each team holding on to hope with a revitalized roster. GO SOX!

Can you think of anything else? Tweet me @hbrenza using the hashtag #OnlyUIC and let me know what else people just don’t understand!


Holly Brenza (F)


Holly Brenza is a senior majoring in English and minoring in communications and management. In her spare time, Holly enjoys playing with her puppy, Bear, and watching the Blackhawks and White Sox, reading and trying out new recipes. After graduation, she hopes to work in public relations.


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