There’s a lot somebody can say about this city, but one thing I can say is that no other city can touch Chicago, period. We have the best everything and we set trends for every other major city. The food, music, dances, and overall culture is straight up untouchable. It’s hard not to love a city like this, but it seems like people are slowly losing their bond with Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, The Chi lost around 22,068 residents from 2017 to 2018. That number may not necessarily seem that crazy to you, but that was almost a 50 percent decrease from last year. If the mass exits keep going at this rate over the next couple years, Chicago may not be that popular anymore or even considered a major city.
One thing that caters to this decline is young people not coming back after they leave to go to college. It’s easy to stay where their college is or go find opportunities somewhere else that isn’t their hometown. It’s seems like now, not that many teens are planning on coming back to Chicago or staying close after high school. Nariya Douglas, a senior from Whitney Young, stresses that, “Everyone is tired of this city. That makes sense considering that we’ve spent almost 18 years here.”
People tend to want to explore more and experience a different way of life. However, Kristin Reid, another Whitney Young senior, is going to Xavier University of Louisiana and she fully believes she’s coming back to the city after college. “Honestly, I can’t see myself anywhere else.” These completely different mindsets create an obvious problem in trying to combat Chicago’s declining population, and they have to be addressed if this city wants to stay afloat.
Personally, I’m not planning on coming back to Chicago after college. With my interests and what I want to do for my career, this city just isn’t a place for that. This doesn’t mean that I would ever stop loving where I’m from or stop doing things to help my community. It’s just up to you to decide if you are going to make Chicago your long-term move or if this city is going to be a thing of your past. So you tell me, what will it be?
By Kyla Hubbard, Junior, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School