Being in my young twenties gives me the opportunity to have hopes and dreams and still have

faith that they will work out. One of the many items on my bucket list is to take a spontaneous trip to

Chicago. Every night when I drive down Southfield Freeway to get home, I see Exit 1 for I-94 toward

Chicago; and every time, I want to merge to the right and never look back. This past Wednesday, I finally

did it. Not quite as spontaneous as I had always thought, but impulsive nonetheless.


While out at the bar, myself and two close friends jokingly mentioned that we should just go to

Chicago since there is nothing to do in Dearborn. After ten minutes of betting that the other ones didn’t

have the cubes to do it, we left and went to the car. Every step we took, I was waiting for one of them to

speak up and say what a stupid idea it was, or make up an excuse as to why we can’t (or shouldn’t) go.


Before I knew it, we were driving to Chicago for no reason other than “for the story”.


By the time we were stopping at a Meijer for a phone charger and a bathroom break, we realized

that it would NOT take two and a half hours to get to Chicago, as the condescending GPS woman had

told us. It was closer to five. Yet, we stuck it out and made it to the city by 2:30 AM. We expected the

streets to be filled, bars still open, and a party on every corner, just like every teenage adventure movie.


The only thing we found on the corner was a man trying to sell his drawings of the Unabomber. Or Mike

Ditka. We couldn’t tell which. After this lovely man made the point that I look too young to drink and

that he was very old, he proceeded to use his wiles to win over my heart. Sadly, our love could never be.


We then escaped to Millennium Park, hoping for some after-hours ruckus. There was the giant

bean-looking statue, a fountain that wasn’t on, and a pavilion that looked like the baby of DTE Energy

Theater. Obviously, the only choice was to trespass “for the story”. It took about five or ten minutes

before Security Guard Cabrera made his way to us and said that the park was closed. His tone changed

once he noticed that one of us was wearing a Detroit shirt. Suddenly, he was very nice and said that we

must be “hard” because Detroit is bad. “Chicago is rough, but it’s no Detroit.” Normally, I would be

annoyed with negative comments about Detroit, but I think his perception of the city got us out of trouble.


Our last ditch effort was heading to the River Walk on the Chicago River. The river is beautiful,

there are boats in the water, and the city was quiet. Seemed like a perfect plan. And it was. Until I saw a

chipmunk next to me that was actually a rat. At this point, it was 5 AM and time to call it a day and drive

back to Michigan.


Although our adventure to Chicago wasn’t what we see on a terrible ABC Family original series

or ‘90s high school drama flick, it was still a journey. We made memories and now have a story to tell.

This is what college is about. Yes, it’s about getting a diploma and finding a job. But it’s also about

making life-long memories to go with life-long friends. No one wants their memories of college to be

JUST books and papers. These are our last years to make irresponsible choices with little judgment. So,

make a story of your own. Even if it doesn’t turn out how you’d expect, I bet you’ll at least get some

good car jam sessions out of the deal.