Urban vs. Suburban Life


Laura Conway, Sophomore Staff Writers

The difference between urban and suburban life is seen especially when comparing our hometown in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland to New York City, New York. This past Thursday the Global International Studies program that I take part in took an exciting field trip to visit the Big Apple. As we walked through the large metropolis I couldn’t help but notice a difference in the New York lifestyle to our own. New York City can be described as a urban area as it, “is a human settlement with high population density and infrastructure of built environment”( Wikipedia 2018). A walk through one crowded street already exposed myself to a variegated  medley of different cultures than one of our own suburban town. This only confirmed my previous theory that New York City hosts a much more different lifestyle than the small town life that occurs here in Saint Mary’s County. Different ways of transportation such as riding a metro or subway, taking a cab, and even walking occur in urban areas. Walking anywhere is pretty much unheard of in our hometown as well as most of Southern Maryland. Southern Maryland in regard to Saint, Mary’s County or Hollywood, Maryland can be described as a suburban area as it is, “a mixed-use or residential area, existing either as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city.” (Wikipedia 2018)


The exposure to different cultures and beliefs is an everyday normality in urban areas such as New York City. Specific towns such as Chinatown or Little Italy creates a hub for multiple cultures to be represented and celebrated. With a higher population inevitably comes more diversity and political autonomy (political respect) of every culture. Another stark difference that I saw between Saint Mary’s County and New York City was the amount of businesses and areas for shopping. New York’s grandeur largely focuses on it’s lavish stores on every corner. The suburban Leonardtown Maryland largely focuses on it’s appeal to a smaller demographic that has fewer lavish stores and more land to raise families in. Suburban hometowns are more likely to include safety and trust with strangers. Needless to say crime rates greatly differ between a large city demographic to a small town population.Overall as I toured in New York I felt the impressive factors of urban living, but also longed for our safe suburban hometown.