From Iowa to Sonoma County: 11 things I used to hate about California but now love

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Drastic change is never as simple as it sometimes may appear. Especially if you’re a 15-year-old introvert not particularly looking to disrupt a half-finished, so-far successful, high school career.

After living in Iowa City, Iowa for seven years, my family moved to Sonoma County in July 2017, after my dad took a job at Sonoma State University.

My transition wasn’t easy: the first months of school were miserable, and I felt myself growing distant from my friends in Iowa. I knew that, socially, there was nowhere to go but up. But somehow, that thought wasn’t comforting.

Every so often, though, my family would take day trips to San Francisco or the Sonoma Coast, which reminded me just how lucky I was to move here. My education is the center of my life, and although my high school was difficult to adjust to, the new California culture I was surrounded by was even more foreign to me.

Last December, I felt happy again. I noticed myself wearing as much color as I used to, I noticed how beautiful the landscape around me was, and, most importantly, I began to really appreciate living in such a wonderful area.

Click through the above gallery to read about some aspects of California at first I couldn’t stand, but have grown to love.

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