My Ode to Raleigh

Before leaving Raleigh in early July, I made sure to have a photoshoot to commemorate leaving the place I called home for the first 18 (19, if you count the one year I spent back in Raleigh after college) years of my life. Raleigh, to me, is still one of the best cities to have grown up in. Forbes lists it as the 3rd best place for business and careers , and US News ranks it 7th best place to live.

Aside from rankings, which there are many, Raleigh has so much more to offer. After attending college in Charlotte, another metropolitan city in North Carolina, I was able to see how good I had it in Raleigh. The public school systems, the infrastructure, the cleanliness; all things I took for granted growing up in the Capitol.

I had the most enriching educational experiences: traveled out of state for field trips, had all of the best state museums a few miles down the road, and had teachers who really cared about my development as a person. My classmates were of every hue; we didn’t have modern-day segregation like many other school districts in metropolitan areas do.

I was close to the beach, yet still driving distance from the mountains. I had the feel of the suburbs, but still the urban appeal of  downtown. There was the state fair every year that was something my family largely looked forward to annually. I just have so many fond memories of this amazing city that attracts so many more transplants every year because of its abundant job market and fair cost of living.

If my future career allows it, I would have no problem raising my family in Raleigh some day. If my kids could get half of the experiences I had growing up, I’d know I made the right decision.


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Published by Paula Ilonze

Communications Wiz | Journalist | Entrepreneur

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