By Nutchapol Boonparlit
I’ve remained at the Annapolis campus for the past three years, and I will be completing my senior year here as well. I don’t dislike the idea of transferring to Santa Fe (it is a beautiful place), but we all have our own personal preferences. That’s why I think it would do some good to illustrate some of my reasons for why I chose to stay here for all four years of my St. John’s education. Just to be clear, I will be discussing the city of Annapolis, rather than the campus. Since I have never been to Santa Fe, I will try to avoid trying to make any comparisons between the two cities and instead focus on describing Annapolis itself.
Those of you who have read any of my other posts probably know that I do sailing. Annapolis is probably one of the best places in the U.S. to sail, since it is one of the sailing centers of the nation. Rowing or crew is also an option, and it’s always a lot of fun to go out on the water with your friends and have a picnic or even a small BBQ by the creek. The city’s proximity to the sea also means a lot of good seafood. During crabbing season, if you try hard enough, you can actually find crabs for less than a dollar each. I remember a Halloween during my sophomore year when my friends and I bought a few crabs and had our own little crab feast. At one point, my friend grabbed a crab, not realizing that it was still alive, and ended up screaming for the next five minutes as we tried to desperately pull it off.
Annapolis is also a tourist town, meaning many of the services available downtown are directed towards people who are expecting to spend some money. Students attending the Annapolis campus will have to pay a bit more if they want to eat out, but those who live here long enough eventually learn to take advantage of the specials or find rides to the west side of Annapolis, where prices are cheaper. Nonetheless, the fact that Annapolis is a tourist town means that there is no shortage of ice cream shops or coffee shops where students can spend some time off campus to relax or do some reading. People are also typically friendly (probably better for business), which is always nice.
The nightlife in Annapolis is also quite lively, for those of us who are old enough to partake. A night out in town can be relaxing after a week of hard work. People who get sick of historic Annapolis can always head towards the western, more modern end of the city, with a shopping mall and movie theater. You would probably have to take a car or bus to get there, but some may consider that a good thing, as it keeps us focused on studying. I personally enjoy going to the movies, and once you get used to public transportation, it isn’t so bad.
I grew up living in cities, so I can tell you outright that Annapolis does not actually fit the complete definition of one. It’s a city that loves its history and tries very hard to keep in touch with it, but the fact that it is a tourist town means it has to accommodate the desires of outside visitors. For that reason, I believe that the city achieves a balance of modernity and history. You never quite lose touch with the busier world out there, but you’re not distracted by it either. I consider myself lucky to be attending college in a town like Annapolis, and I’m certain that next year when I graduate, I genuinely will miss living here.