Life In: Winston-Salem, NC

Hi everyone! My name is Nabila and I am a first year law student. I graduated from undergrad in 2011, and I worked for a social media start up company for a year before starting law school. Katherine, the Duchess, is an old high school friend and dance teammate! I’m originally from Endicott, NY, then moved to Austin, Texas where I met Katherine and went to the University of Texas, and now I live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina  because I am attending law school.

Law school aside, life has been a lot less stressful in Winston-Salem as opposed to Austin.  Things are a bit slower paced, the air is a little clearer, and there are actually seasons! Winston-Salem is the fourth largest city in North Carolina but it feels much like a smaller suburban town to me. Everything (with the exception of the Apple Store, DSW, and some of my other favorite stores which are 30 miles away in Greensboro), is within a 10-15 minute drive.  North Carolina is also not that large of a state, so it is not uncommon to see cars with different license plates from the surrounding states driving around town. Also, the university brings in people from all over. Even though I haven’t really gone anywhere, I feel a bit more portable knowing that I can cover a few states on the east coast in 7-8 hours rather than a few cities, as I would back in Texas.

But, I have to be honest; the majority of my life in North Carolina has been spent in class, the library, my apartment…and sadly (at least for my wallet, anyway), Target. But for all of those times that I’m not buried in the books, I’ve made an effort to really take in what I can.

Winston-Salem is completely and utterly beautiful. The trees extend to the sky for what seems like miles. They aren’t just in random clusters or planted in someone’s backyard for landscaping. They are everywhere you go and have probably been there for hundreds of years. The founders of this city definitely knew what they were doing. They found the most beautiful part of the forest I call North Carolina and decided that this is where Winston-Salem should be. And so far, I have no complaints. It is a very family oriented area, and the residents are just super friendly. Compared to Austin, however, there is not much to do here. But, as a law student, there isn’t much time to do much of anything else so it really works out. For the times I do have extra time (or cash!) on my hands there is a fantastic mall, movie theaters  lovely parks and a ton of beautiful nature trails to indulge myself in.

Since I’ve been here, the temperatures have been great. Most days it’s not too hot, not too cold. The transition to fall has brought some chilly mornings, days and nights, but for the most part, the weather has been perfect. It has rained quite a few times, though. The rain falls harder here than it does back home, but it makes those cozy days inside that much more enjoyable.

While North Carolina can get pretty hot at times, it can be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees lower than the temperatures in Texas, and the air is far more breathable for me here. Breathable, of course, in the sense that my lungs don’t heat up just by taking in a whiff of the air. I’m one of those people that avoid extreme heat like the plague, so I did not go outside much in Texas unless I absolutely needed to. If I needed to work out, it was in a gym with air conditioning. If I wanted to go to a park, it was at sunset when it wasn’t so hot. But what fun is a park when you won’t be able to see anything in an hour’s time? I haven’t had that problem here yet.

Most of my time outdoors has been spent outside walking or jogging on a nature trail. A nature trail is not just your average nature trail here. It’s like something out of a fairy tale. Half the time I feel like Snow White or any other princess or character from a Disney movie or Once Upon A Time. And then there are those times where I feel like Katniss Everdeen trying to survive as a tribute in the Hunger Games. Those feelings are usually limited to the times I jog or run.  But that’s another story.

Overall, I really enjoy living in North Carolina. I have yet to visit other areas of the state, but I’m definitely enjoying where I’m at now. The leaves have officially changed color to all sorts of shades of red, yellow, and orange. Occasionally you can catch them innocently falling and covering the sidewalks, trails, campus, and yards. Winter is approaching and soon there won’t be any leaves left on the trees. I haven’t experienced it yet, but I imagine a mild winter wonderland with ice crystals lining the branches and frost on the shrubs and grass. I could be completely off, but I’m definitely looking forward to what the North Carolina winter will bring! Until then, I’ll leave you with a couple of things I miss and don’t miss about Texas.

Things I miss (No specific order):

1.     Tex-Mex
2.     The hustle n bustle of the city life.
3.     Familiar scenery, smells, sounds I’ve experienced since I was six years old.
4.     Family and friends
5.     Keeping Austin Weird

Things I don’t miss (Specifically in this order):

1.     Traffic.
2.     Sweltering humid heat.
3.     Traffic.
4.     Traffic.
5.     Traffic.

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 Thanks Nabila!