C is for Champaign

During my four years at this University, few issues have caused as much debate as the ongoing battle over which is better: Champaign or Urbana.

Until recently I was very biased because I had only lived in Champaign. In fact, I have always lived within a few blocks of Green Street and the Main Quad. I never really understood how anyone could argue that Urbana was a better place to live.

I used to joke that a trip to Urbana was like a trip across town— there was a great deal of preparation involved and often ended with procrastination (“Eh, I’ll go next weekend.”)

It was not until I stayed in C-U over the summer (my apartment was in Champaign, of course) that I began to realize that Urbana was not some far away land. The argument of Champaign vs. Urbana made sense to me for the first time—Urbana wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was pretty charming.

There is not doubt that Urbana is beautiful. The trees, the grass, the stone in the street— all of it reminds me of home. The houses even remind me of those in my subdivision in Creve Coeur, Mo.

But in this town, location is everything. Champaign is closer to more University buildings and is home to many campus bars, restaurants, fraternities and sororities. It seems as though Champaign is the hard-partying, loud brother or sister to the subdued Urbana. There is so much to do and see, and it’s all in our backyard.

And of course, there’s the convenience of Green Street. Taking a half hour to walk to the bars at 11 p.m. while wearing 3 inch heels? No thanks. In Champaign, no matter the circumstance, I can get anywhere on Green in 5 minutes flat. And when it’s less than 20 degrees out and snowing, convenience is key. Considering that it feels like winter lasts for nine months here, the less time spent out doors is usually for the best. Who likes frozen hands anyway?

So, while Urbana has that suburban charm, Champaign is convenient and always entertaining.

I guess I know where I’m meant to be. Sorry Urbana, but my heart belongs in Champaign.

Julia is a senior in Media.